Saturday, 13 October 2012

Japan vs France football

On the 24th of March 2001, the Japanese international football team which won the asian cup the year before, played a 90 minute football match in Saint Denis against the French international football team. The match became a event that would be known through Japanese history as "the tragedy in Saint Denis" with the French crushing Japan in a 5-0 win.

Eleven years have passed and things have changed. France have failed in their generation change and have had many problems inside the team, thus dropping their FIFA rank all the way to 13. Japan on the contrary has started to have players like Kagawa who now play at the top level, thus moving up their FIFA rank all the way to 23.

The time for the rematch had come. On the 12th of October, in the same place as 11 years ago, Japan faced France again.



As many had predicted, France pushed forward with all their might, getting close to the goal thousands of times. However, they cannot break in with Japan's trusted goalkeeper performing amazing saves every time they get close, keeping the score 0-0 until the first half whistle

The tide started to turn to Japan's side as the second half came to a start and Japan started to make some chances. But France became serious as the score stayed 0-0 and sent in Ribery. Japan also makes some substitutions sending in Takashi Inui. The one who got the ball in the net first was France. From Giroud's overhead pass, Gomis heads it into the net. However, Giroud was on a offside position, one body over the line, and the goal does not count.

Both teams starts giving their final power out, making chances after chances, but neither side can score. On the 87th minute, Giroud shoots a definite shot but Kawashima makes an astonishing save, sending it out for a corner. France gets a slight chance from the corner but the keeper flings it out again, making them take another corner. It all happened from there.

France takes the corner again, in a rush as it is just 3 minutes from the end. The flying ball comes in to the middle of the penalty box but it bounces out of the penalty box after hitting a player on the head. Komano, the 29 year old Japanese defender who has been blocking all chances in the back-line all day, reacts to the ball and dribbles up the field with all the power he has left. France, who had never expected such a thing had only 3 defenders behind. Every player on the field rushes toward the goal for their last opportunity. Komano sends it to the right for Nagatomo, the side-back who plays for Inter Milan who had out ran Ribery. He fakes for a shot and instead crosses it in for Kagawa, the number 10 of japan. Kagawa throws his body on the ground and meets the ball with his right foot. The ball blasts in the goal, shaking the net. GOAL. It was an unbelievable counter attack, only taking 15 seconds after the ball was kicked in for a corner.

The final whistle blew. It was 1-0. The revenge had been successful.
Japan will be playing Brazil on the 16th of October. Why not go for another Giant Killing?

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