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Club World Championships (Toyota Cup)
Saudi Arabia Al Ittihad 1-0 Egypt Al Ahly

Back to Monday again after a short weekend for me. It was a very cold one at that, and in Yokohama stadium last night where the FIFA Club World Championship first game between Asia Champs Al Ittihad and Africa champs Al Ahly was held, we even saw a flurry of snow...!

The 5-6 degrees celcius temperatures kept the first ten or fifteen minutes a little awkward for both teams, but as they warmed and loosened up the game started to flow better. One thing that stood out was the dribbling capabilities among the players, but some close saves kept things even until the 78th minute. Al Ittihad's Al Dosari sent the ball up thru to Tcheco who backed it to Al Dosari for a cross. Keeper El Hadary's punching missed the mark and all Noor had to do was push it into an empty goal. Al Ahly tried to regain control of the game with some players substitutions but they could not find their rhythm.

Al Ittihad means "union", (Al Ahly means "national") and in fact it may have been the strength in teamwork/unity that gave Al Ittihad the edge for the win. Al Ahly's undefeated streak (does anyone know exactly how many games it was? I know it's more than 50) ended... Al Ittihad play South American champs Sao Paulo FC on the 14th.

J Youth Sahara Cup 2005

For the sake of the blog, which is bloated as it is with too much subject matter to cover (I would love to pay a little more attention to the Japan Women's national and Men's Youth teams some day), I normally wouldn't include club youth and other university/high school tournies here, but to take us back into the harsh reality of work I thought it would be nice to address the youth footballers...And with a number of youth level players getting promoted to the first team for next season I thought it would be appropriate to at least point out that the Sahara Cup is into their knockout rounds now.

The tournament starts out with 29 clubs -- the 18 youth clubs from the J1 and 11 of the J2 clubs (12 minus Thespa Kusatsu). They were put into 7 groups for home/away matches.

The 14 teams that made it to the knockout (the top two from each group) are then joined by 4 of the Japan Club Youth Football Federation teams (the first placed teams from four regions) for a total of 18.

Because of the awkward number of teams, the first round was two games only to even out the numbers for this weekend's lot so 16 teams met this weekend. The biggest surprise yesterday was Mitsubishi Yowa SC's win over Kashiwa Reysol U-18 (2-1). And though some scores clearly showed who was stronger (Shimizu S-Pulse Youth 9-0 Vegalta Sendai Youth), others had a bit more of a struggle (Vissel Kobe Youth 1-1 [PK9-8] Kashima Antlers Youth; Kashima are last year's champions).

The game that was touted as the most exciting however was the one between Verdy Youth and Yokohama F Marinos Youth. Both teams smothering each others' strengths for a tense 90 minutes. Marinos won 1-0 taking advantage of the one small window of opportunity Verdy handed them.

Tickets to this tournament are free! :) Next weekend, if it isn't raining, maybe I'll go over to Fukuda Denshi Arena (the new Jef Chiba stadium) for the games between Mitsubishi/Marinos followed by the FCTokyo/S-Pulse game... Gotta dress warm though!

gamba_hp.jpgGamba's Official Celebration

Yesterday the Gamba players went around to various locations to thank citizens of Osaka and supporters. In finale the team and supporters gathered at their home Banpaku stadium for an offical celebration of their league win. Photos from the events are posted on the >>Gamba homepage, including a pretty flash presentation that kicks in when you load the page. The photos can be found mid-way down the page, just click on the thumbnails.

Kaji To Gamba

The papers are saying it is almost officially in the bag: Akira Kaji, FC Tokyo and National team rightback will be moving to Osaka next season to join Gamba Osaka. I'm sad to see him leave Tokyo, especially since FCT is in need of creating a backbone of sturdy players...but I wish him the best of luck! Also hear he is expecting a baby (well, his wife will be doing all the work in that department, but...).

Gamba of course have lost Araujo and now will probably lose Oguro, so there is still a question of what they will do about rebuilding their attack.

Speaking of forwards...

The Japan national team will be playing almost all of their games in the first few months of the year without their European players. Now that Oguro is going to France (I am assuming this is going to happen but I could be wrong), Tamada is still healing from his fracture, Tatsuya Tanaka is still out from his broken leg, there is a LOT of room for opportunity among forwards.

Zico left Germany following the World Cup draw for Brazil, but he did in his usual manner threw a chunk of meat for the domestic media to fight and chew over until he returns. Namely, that Yokohama F Marinos striker Kubo will most certainly be called back to the national training camp at the beginning of the year.

Kubo has had every kind of injury in the past couple years, but has netted a few in recent months. Zico says that if he is in the condition to play, he will be on the 23-man list. There will not be any surprises, he said.... but usually this means that no matter who Zico chooses it should not be a surprise because they are good players.

But still, "no surprises"...meaning we should expect the forwards to be...Kubo...Suzuki? Maki? and who am I missing? The irony is of course that all three of these forwards are tall power-type players (except Kubo also has the technique and striker's quality on top of his height, etc). I have nothing against Suzuki but he has not even been able to make it on the starting team at Kashima...


Mondays need a little bit o' silliness, so...

winelev9.jpgJ League Winning Eleven 9 Club Supporters Championships

J's Goal along with Konami put together this competition for a bit of fun between J league supporters. The tournament took place yesterday at Konami HQ. Note: there is a much more "official" Winning Eleven worldwide competition, but this is separate from that and only involves the J1 and J2 teams.

I kid you not, we have highlight video!

>>Click to see semi-final Shonan Bellmare v Gamba Osaka
>>Click to see semi-final Yokohama F Marinos v Urawa Reds
>>Click to see third-place decider
>>Click to see final -- full match (highlight to reveal teams: Yokohama F Marinos v Shonan Bellmare)
>>Click to see interview of the Supporter/Player who won
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承認待ちコメント
このコメントは管理者の承認待ちです
2006/04/01(土) 14:38:41 | | #[ Edit]
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2005/12/15(木) 15:08:59 | | #[ Edit]
____
オット, u can try such places as play-asia.com, yesasia.com, that's where i buy Japanese games from.

Depflight, it's fun;×shortpass○longpass△throughpass■shoot(!!)


.vic
J.LEAGUExJapanNTxKASHIMA

2005/12/14(水) 11:34:35 | URL | vic #/f9LbKeM[ Edit]
nWEbie
オット do u also play WE9Ubiquitous Evolution (PSP)??
i play that mostly, as it's train, bus and car compatible(・∀・)

i think KONAMI also have exclusive license to J.LEAGUE football games too.
J.LEAGUE version of the game has barely been written about in english press, so can only hope they've updated the Japan kit to the new '06 one, the problem being, is if they haven't, then u won't be able to edit it anyway, being a licensed kit..

coincidentally i've been waiting for
J.LWE9AC, think it got lost in the post(´・ω・`)


.vic
J.LEAGUExJapanNTxKASHIMA
2005/12/13(火) 02:10:37 | URL | vic #/f9LbKeM[ Edit]
承認待ちコメント
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2005/12/12(月) 21:37:44 | | #[ Edit]
承認待ちコメント
このコメントは管理者の承認待ちです
2005/12/12(月) 18:18:09 | | #[ Edit]
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