- By Whirly
Alright, this one will be a similar style, like the Germany vs. USA article (check list style). There were some formatting issues with the other article.
Hopefully Mac and I can get that panned out for you soccer lovers (it was mostly my bad, darn communication .maybe the English team is rubbing off on me).
The result of the game was Japan 2-1.
Let’s go to work – – ->
Japan Keys for success:
- Play simple
Met Expectation: No: They forced some poor balls and got sucked into a style they didn’t want to play.
- Remain composed on the field
Met Expectation: No: There were some signs of frustration and tons of complaining toward the official
- For Gursh sakes Finish the darn thing
Met Expectation: No: Japan received a very very generous penalty kick and it took an own goal for the second goal to be scored.
- Better crosses in the box
Met Expectation: No: The crosses were forced and not set up well.
- Mix up corner kick plays. Doing the same play or slight variation is too predictable
Met Expectation: Yes: This was one of the areas that Japan did okay at but poor services didn’t help this be more successful
- Keep playing defense as a team
Met Expectation: NA: This was hard because the English ladies threw a whole different look toward the Japanese side. England created more one on one looks than Japan anticipated.
- Need to contest attacking shooter better. Australia had more than ideal shots in open areas
Met Expectation: No: Still some ball watching by the defenders when England shot the ball. There were couple of times a defender ducked.
- Focus getting ball on frame. Force the goalkeeper to make a save
Met Expectation: No: Capital F for this department.
- Continue to play the ball in tight spaces
Met Expectation: No: Japan got sucked into a long ball game that they didn’t want to play.
- Japan has a great knack for changing pace of attacks to throw off timing of the other team. Need little more of that in the next game
Met Expectation: No: To much confusion and didn’t know how to react to the England’s defense.
- Locate the Goalkeeper. Figure out when it is appropriate to shoot far post
Met Expectation: No: Another capital F. Japan hit the ball for the sake of hitting the ball.
Score: 1 /10
Japan Reactions: This was a true miracle for the Japanese side. They looked average at best for the game. There were some slight individual efforts but has a whole they didn’t play disciplined game. The Japanese met one key point and stumbled to success. Japan somehow lived to play another day. This is why soccer can be the most and cruelest sport on the Earth. Japan has much to work on before they play United States. Hopefully the US took notes from this game.
England’s Keys for success:
- Play as a team
Met Expectation: Yes: This English side still played directly but possessed the ball with better purpose.
- Better communication
Met Expectation: Yes: There was less missed passes and less players stepping on each others toes.
- More urgency
Met Expectation: NA: In this case it would be unfair to grade England in this area because they wanted a slower temp game.
- Better placement on corners and free kicks
Met Expectation: No: This wasn’t consistent to receive a yes. Balls were over hit or under hit.
- Don’t dive into tackles on Japan
Met Expectation: Yes: They barely receive a yes in this department. They didn’t dive into tackles but were a little grabby though.
- Need to organize quicker on set pieces
Met Expectation: Yes: They found there marks a better and they kicked the ball away to slow down Japan
- Contest the shooters of Japan
Met Expectation: No: England were in great position but still aloud some shots go uncontested.
- Use your height
Met Expectation: No: Inconsistent in this area. Balls were off target and England just didn’t ball consistently out of the reach of the Japanese defenders.
- Better clearances from the defensive third
Met Expectation: Yes: The balls were hit with much better pace. They were still hit down the middle but way up the field, so some improvement.
- Stay on your feet (went down to easily on certain challenges)
Met Expectation: No: Sadly the English got caught up looking for foul sand not teammates in certain points of the match.
- Quick shots don’t hold onto the ball too long. Japan recovers really well
Met Expectation: No: There was some improvement in this area but still little slow finding where the Japanese recovering players are coming from.
Score: 5 /10
England Reactions: The fact this game was decided by an own goal in the waning moments of the game is just cruel. England worked so hard in this game and showed that a delayed pressing defense can be effective against Japan. However, this game is another life lesson on why capitalizing on chances when you have the momentum is imperative. It’s just not fair that England met for criteria than the Japanese side .I do feel for England because a game decided like this one, just leaves an empty feeling.
Whirly’s Knockout Record: 11-3
Final Thoughts: Man this game had many ups and downs but in the end; fate intervened (I guess). It must have been destined in the stars that Japan and the US meet again in the World Cup title match. Japan didn’t deserve this win but shows how dangerous a team can be when they are left in the game