After performing superbly at the 2002 World Cup which they co-hosted, Japan were brought back down to earth with a group stage exit in Germany four years ago. This time around at the 2010 World Cup I South Africa, the national team will again look to prove that they can do the business away from home in the World Cup. There are lots of questions surrounding this team however and their ability to defeat world football’s best teams. In a difficult Group E alongside the Netherlands, Cameroon, and Denmark, Japan have their work cut out for them if they are to advance to the Round of 16. Should they do so they will have defied the odds and silenced the critics at the same time
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FIFA Ranking: 45th
World Cup Appearances: 3 (1998, 2002, 2006)
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 2-2-6
Best World Cup Finish: Round of 16, 2002
Road To South Africa: Finished in 2nd Place, Group 1, Asia Round 4
Asia’s most successful-ever team enter their 7th consecutive World Cup. South Korea are hoping to end an inability to perform well overseas in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. With an improved squad and expectations higher than ever at home, many wonder whether this will be a breakout performance by the 2002 World Cup co-hosts.
4th place was achieved in that hosted tournament, however questions are still posed to this team about favorable refereeing decisions helping the team progress eight years ago. After missing out on a place in the knockout rounds in 2006, the goal this team in Group B, which features opponents Argentina, Nigeria, and Greece, is to get to the second round.
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FIFA Ranking: 49th
World Cup Appearances: 7 (1954, 1986, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006)
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 4-7-13
Best World Cup Finish: 4th place, 2002 World Cup
Road To South Africa: Qualified as 1st Place team from Asia Round 4, Group B
It’s been 44 years since North Korea appeared in the World Cup and fans of the side will be hoping for a performance in South Africa akin to what the national team was able to do back in 1966. In that World Cup, the North Koreans shocked the world by defeating Italy 1-0 and advancing to the quarterfinals of the tournament. There the stage was set for another giantkilling as the team were 3-0 ahead of Portugal. However, the great Eusebio inspired a comeback that has gone down in the annals of World Cup history and North Korea were eventually beaten 5-3 in one of the tournament’s most memorable matches.
The odds are against such an inspiring performance this time around in a group that features three heavyweights in the form of Brazil, Portugal, and Ivory Coast. Any result against these world football giants would be a shock that would surpass the team’s exploits in England ’66. The most likely scenario will see the team play spoiler by keeping down the opposition’s scoring due to a tight defense.
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FIFA Ranking: 106
World Cup Appearances: 1 (1966)
World Cup Record (W-D-L): 1-1-2
Best World Cup Finish: Quarterfinals, 1966
Road To South Africa: Qualified with a 2nd Place Finish in Asia’s Group 2
For those watching the matches in Nepal’s Martyrs League this season, one of the top players thus far has been G’Five Machhindra FC defender Rohit Chand. The defender has put in a series of sparkling performances and has shown why he was the youngest player ever to represent the Nepali national team.
Chand’s play has brought him four Man of the Match awards during the league campaign and his play at the back has been one of the highlights of Machhindra’s season. The young stopper has led a defense that doesn’t leak too many goals, but he also can be a threat moving up the pitch.
Rohit Chand has been in fine form this season for Machhindra FC
This is the last of our three-part focus on Machhindra FC, an innovative club in Nepal that is growing all the time and appears to be on the cusp of challenging for the league title in the next year or two. Read on for our interview with Rohit Chand. Chand’s dreams, views on the game, and description of the sport in Nepal are worthwhile reading as we get a glimpse into the life of a footballer in Nepal and his aspirations for the future.
So enjoy our interview with Rohit Chand, a player who captains his club side at the tender age of 19. Chand is a player who represents the future of football in Nepal and many tip him as a sure bet to make a career abroad in the years to come. Continue reading
Hello all, welcome to the Monday Morning Kick-Off. A couple bits of business to tend to first before we dive into some hopefully interesting football tidbits.
For starters, One Game, One World will go all World Cup starting in mid-May. We are planning previews of the teams, along with news, interviews, and stories ahead of the 2010 World Cup which begins on June 11th. This is a historic tournament, the first in Africa, and it means that here at OGOW we are excited to bring you coverage of the competition before, during, and after the competition.
Of course, there will be a million media outlets to receive coverage from, but we hope you will check out our mix of traditional and non-traditional coverage for perhaps something a bit different ahead of the world’s greatest sporting event.
Ok, well off we go for today’s Kick-Off.
Yes, we have reached what is commonly known as the business end of the season in many leagues, mostly Europe. In most leagues it is a two-horse race as Barcelona and Real Madrid contest La Liga, while Chelsea is attempting to hold of Manchester United in the English Premier League. Continue reading
Eze Collins’ road to football stardom may not be your typical footballer story, however the Nigeria-born striker has made a name for himself across Asia, turning out for clubs in India, Bhutan, and now Nepal.
Collins is a talented frontman who has banged in the goals in virtually every place he has played. Now at Macchindra FC in Nepal, Collins is hoping to lead his current team to the top of the Martyrs League.
How long Collins stays in Nepal remains to be seen, though he doesn’t hide his affection for Machhindra FC. A move to Europe represents the player’s ultimate dream along with playing for Mozambique, the national team he selected to play for thanks to his mother’s citizenship. Collins ability can be detected while watching him in action and it’s no surprise that he was a former Nigerian U-17 National Team member.
One Game, One World was delighted that Collins was interested in answering a couple of questions and we became even more excited about the responses he gave us. How does a foreigner fit in Nepal? How did it feel being the first black man to play the sport in Bhutan? And how does he feel about the World Cup coming to Africa?
What follows are the views of a player who has grown up around the game, motivated by his parents and family. Read on for the inspiring tale of a footballer who has taken the road less travelled and, who at only 22, has most of his career ahead of him. Continue reading
Jason Culina’s 14-year career at the highest level is a portrait of the consummate professional. After getting his start with Sydney United in Australia, Culina was snapped up by Ajax so impressed were the Dutch giants with the young Australian player. He spent four seasons in Amsterdam before making the move to FC Twente where his career in Europe really took off.
Jason Culina will feature for Australia during the 2010 World Cup
One superb campaign at Twente was all the convincing that powerhouse PSV Eindhoven needed and Culina’s time in Eindhoven coincided with the club having one of the most successful periods in their history. Culina has over 300 professional matches under his belt, including 45 caps with the national side. Recently, Culina was given the captain’s armband for his country.
Culina now stars in the Australian A-League for Gold Coast United. Currently, he is back in Eindhoven training with PSV so that he can keep sharp for Australia ahead of their World Cup participation in June.
One Game, One World was able to catch up with Jason Culina and get his views on his career and football in general. Check out what this versatile footballer has to say about his start in the game, his time in Europe, and what it feels like to wear the Australian shirt. You’ll be seeing him on the fields in South Africa this summer wearing the green and gold for Australia and we are thankful he took the time to answer our questions. Continue reading