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It's Been 12 Days
since the WC qualifier game against North Korea. This was probably the number one topic on all Japanese blogs in the last couple weeks, but given the time lapse, I think I'll avoid doing any lump analysis on that game just now. Will probably trickle a number of shorter entries regarding various themes that left an impression on me as the week goes by. The funny thing is, every few days, I awake with a different "take" on that game. And I realize that in the end the only true thing is the final score and a lingering feeling of worry mixed with a handful of hope and pride.

The one thing I have to say about the JapanNT is that they sure have a way of ending up in the most difficult and destiny-tinged match-ups. Carrying over from the last round of qualifiers, the Asia Cup group teams included Iran and Oman, the knockout stages included Bahrain, and the final clash against ChinaNT (and the population of China, it seemed) in Peking. Now grouped with North Korea, Iran, and Bahrain. Iran and Bahrain of course being in the top 4 at Asia Cup, and containing AFC player of the Year and Asia Cup Golden Boot winner. If that's not enough, Japan will have to face Brazil's Selecao, Zico's love, and Greece, Euro winners, at the Confederation's Cup.

I have a feeling that this year is going to make the harrowing adventures of last year seem like a walk in the park. Is your heart ready?

31 days til Iran.
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