Football (Japan) Lost In Translation . . . Relaunched 2012!
Japan Football: Zaccheroni, Samurai Blue, and general J chatter
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Mallorca 5-2 Real Sociedad w/ video
Yoshito Okubo subbed in the second half in Mallorca's game against Real Sociedad Sunday. The team got a nice 5-2 victory after trailing in the beginning. Okubo assisted Arango's second goal (the team's third), with a targeted cross (short corner) from the right. He was also involved in the fifth goal when he tried to twirl and shoot as the goalie suppressed the ball... the ball dropped to the left and was shoved in by Choutos.

>>Right-click and download video of third goal Okubo is the one who sends in the cross.

>>Right-click and download video of fifth goal Okubo is the one in the middle of the goal area.

Le Mans 2-1 Sochaux w/ video
matsui_sochaux.jpg Le Mans played Sochaux this Saturday, and won 2-1. Daisuke Matsui started again, and he assisted Hautcoeur's goal with a great cross after doing a little tricky dribbling.

>>Right-click and download assist-goal scene clip

>>Right-click and download the second goal by Tulio De Melo

Petits little (or is that redundant?) Le Mans are now in 2nd Place after the mighty Lyon.
J1 Round 24: The Highs and Lows
ambulance9.17.05.jpgOh what a bloody mess

Yokohama F Marinos 0-0 FC Tokyo

It was a chilling end for those 36,000 present at Yokohama's Nissan Stadium Saturday night. As 90 minutes of a stressful goalless draw entered into stoppage time, FC Tokyo saw a series of accidents that started with ace Naohiro Ishikawa being carried off on a stretcher unable to walk and culiminating with a head collision between their two beloved Brazilians, defender Jean and forward Lucas.

The immediate concern of everyone in the stadium focused on the blood pouring down Jean's cut forehead. But it was Lucas, who had initially picked himself up without evident damage, that was the one to collapse seconds later. Worried doctors objected to moving the unresponsive player and sent for the ambulance as they prepared an IV drip. All the doctors available, whether from Marinos or Tokyo, were all out there.

The wait for the ambulance was quite unbearable -- and really, should it have taken that long? Meanwhile, all the players were standing around trying to figure out what they could do. Jean, who was the one who collided with Lucas and had a blood-streaked jersey on, was in tears at seeing doctors trying to get a response out of his buddy; Sasa took off his shirt and was using it to fan Lucas's body.

Ugh. The entire tension-filled ordeal took about twenty minutes. By the time the paramedics had driven Lucas off, no one on the pitch was in the mood to resume the game. The referee decided to skip the remaining three minutes and call it a night. This was the first emergency situation of the J-league season. It was really quite stunning to have to watch all that -- like you weren't sure how bad things were, and practically all twenty-odd players were creating this mass huddle around Lucas's body, and all you knew was something was not peachy.

As for the, let's see.

The home side initially set out to use long balls to the front sides and circumnavigate the energetic midfield pressure of their visitors. Though Marinos' Okada had switched his most dependable defender, international Yuji Nakazawa, to the left in order to give added support to the more vulnerable side, it was this side where Tokyo found their first real chance at goal. Norio Suzuki broke through the right at 16 minutes and sent a fast grounder in to an open Mitsuhiro Toda. The quick reflexes of Yokohama's Daisuke Oku denied.

The long ball strategy allowed the League Champs to maintain a populated and stable defense, and finally made some headway in the 31st minute when Gral leapt up to meet a superb long feed from Masahiro Ohashi. The recent transfer from Jubilo Iwata, however, did not get the right angle on impact; the ball dropped horizontally and was carefully cleared by Jean.

The visitors had hoped to force their opponents to give up the ball with persistent checks and movement. Though they were able to intercept time and time again, the Nabisco Champs were unable to time their characteristic vertical bursts effectively and also seemed to have some problems with accuracy on the passes.

The second half opened up to a sharper Yokohama. Instead of relying heavily on long feeds, they players made attempts to build the play through concentrated passing. Four minutes into the half, a lovely set of hand offs from right to left just outside the box allowed Dutra to send in a perfectly placed cross to the far post. A waiting Gral shoved the ball to center, but Jean again cleared from inside the congestion.

With the score stagnating, both managers opted to inject more energy into the attack. New acquisition Sasa from Paraguay for Tokyo and Norihisa Shimizu for Yokohama.

The home side domination of the initial twenty minutes began to slip away as FC Tokyo attempted to capitalize off several successful interceptions. Though their surge towards the goal and resulting attempts at setting up proper finishes posed a dangerous period, the defense held.

A few minutes later, with Tokyo still hanging on to their rhythm, a goal kick from Yoichi Doi gave Toda entry past the defenders. His flicked heel lift followed by a careful loop shot may have been the biggest opportunity seen by either side this night. However, his aim was not careful enough, and the ball fell innocuously on top of the netting.

Though careful against the counter, neither side gave up on their attack. Both teams used the sides well and aimed to get crosses in. It was a heated second half, and the stoppage time of 5 minutes may have been just enough to see one team through in a dramatic last minute victory. But it was a different kind of drama that awaited, and the foremost thought on most players' minds as they shuffled off the pitch was not the 0-0 score but the health of their fellow footballer.

Two hours after the game, FC Tokyo released information that Lucas had started to regain consciousness. The doctors diagnosed a sprained neck and a severe concussion. This afternoon, Lucas was released by the hospital into the care of his club physicians.

A Dizzying Afternoon at Kashima

Kashima Antlers 4-0 Vissel Kobe

The Antlers welcomed the visitors yesterday with an adjusted new lineup. If Vissel manager Pavel was expecting the usual faces in the usual places, he must have been surprised to see how Kashima manager Cerezo turned things around. ...continues, click below
Video: Hide's Bolton Debut & Assist
It's so late, but I wanted to put this link up before I crashed. Hide Nakata made his Bolton debut in the UEFA Cup game against Lokomotiv Plovdiv. Though he was not able to repeat his debut performance in Italy with goals, he did assert himself to some degree with physical toughness and offense-focused attitude -- and an assist.

The game was tied at 90 minutes, but Hide's neat little backwards header to Borgetti (Mexican internationl, who we saw this summer when Japan played the elegant central american team at the Confederations Cup) was enough for a winning goal.

>>Click here for the download link

Link is thanks to Nippon Ganbare website -- the website is coming together very nicely, and the forum has a number of consistent visitors.
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