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Olympics So Far: Japan Qualifies For The Quarterfinals

30 July 2012 by

Here’s a quick update on the Japanese Men’s Football team at the London Olympics. After 1-0 victories over Spain and Morocco, Japan has qualified for the knockout stages. I will post full reports on both matches later today.

The victory over Spain was stunning, and Japan probably should’ve won by more. Spain controlled possession but were unable to create any clear chances. Yuki Otsu’s first-half goal was enough for the three points.

Morocco was a tough opponent and were comfortable in possession. They started both halves strongly and had a good chance through the excellent Nordin Amrabat. But as time passed, Japan became better and started to dictate play. Kensuke Nagai grabbed a late winner to send Japan into the knockout rounds. Surprisingly, Spain lost again 1-0 to Honduras and were eliminated.

Japan will need at least a point against Honduras to clinch first place. They will be especially eager to do so as second place secures a likely quarterfinal match with Brazil.

On the women’s side, Japan are second in their group after a win over Canada and a goalless draw with Sweden. After an opening 2-1 win over Canada, Japan were unable to score against a Sweden side they defeated in the semifinal of last year’s Women’s World Cup. Japan will play South Africa tomorrow in their final group match.

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