Sunday, October 31, 2010

J League Results October 31

J.League.
Sunday 31 October

Yokohama F Marinos 2 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1
Albirex Niigata 2 Kashima Antlers 1

Saturday 30 October

Nagoya Grampus 1 Cerezo Osaka 0
Vegalta Sendai 1 Kyoto Sanga 0
Gamba Osaka 2 Vissel Kobe 4
Shimizu S-Pulse 1 FC Tokyo 2
Kawasaki Frontale 1 Jubilo Iwata 1
Urawa Reds 0 Montedio Yamagata 1
Shonan Bellmare v Omiya Ardija (Postponed)


The highest attendance was 24,061 at Toyota Stadium for the Nagoya Grampus v Cerezo Osaka game.

J.League Table

Nagoya Grampus P 28 Pts 60
Kashima Antlers P 28 Pts 49
Gamba Osaka P 28 Pts 49
Kawasaki Frontale P 28 Pts 46
Cerezo Osaka P 28 Pts 45
Shimizu S-Pulse P 28 Pts 45
Yokohama F Marinos P 28 Pts 45
Sanfrecce Hiroshima P 28 Pts 42


Leading Scorers


Josh Kennedy, Nagoya Grampus 16
Shoki Hirai, Gamba Osaka 14
Ryoichi Maeda, Jubilo 13
Edmilson, Urawa Reds 13
Cho Young Cheol, Albirex Niigata 11
Shinji Okazaki, Shimizu S-Pulse 11

Previous Results

J.League News

Friday, October 29, 2010

George's Premiership Predictions October 30

George got 3 results right and no perfect scores last week.

Sat 30th October 2010

Arsenal 3 v West Ham Utd 1
Blackburn 0 v Chelsea 1
Everton 2 v Stoke City 0
Fulham 2 v Wigan Athletic 1
Wolves 1 v Manchester City 2
Man Utd 2 v Tottenham 1

Sun 31st October 2010

Aston Villa 1 v Birmingham 1
Newcastle 1 v Sunderland 1
Bolton 0 v Liverpool 1

Mon 1 November 2010

Blackpool 1 WBA 2

Previous week's George Predictions

World Cup Posters

Qatar Stars League Week 6

Al Gharafa claws back to thrilling draw

QSL.
Qatar Stars League holders Al Gharafa are fighters to the core. Against Al Rayyan, they went behind thrice, but came back each time to eke out a hard-fought draw. In the process, Al Rayyan lost a chance to earn a morale-boosting win over the defending champions, who have not been in good form so far in the tournament.

Brazilian Afonso Alves, an Al Sadd player last season, has been a big hit in the Al Rayyan camp. He did the star turn for them again, in the very first minute. Qatari player Jarallah Al Marri scored their second goal in the 33rd while Afonso scored his second in the 50th. Al Gharafa hit back through Brazilian Juninho (30th), Iraqi Youins Mahmoud (48th) and Meshaal Abdullah (67th).

The match was high on excitement and some of it spread onto the spectators, who had turned out in great numbers, as well. There were a few skirmishes and police intervened at half-time to restore peace.

Al Sadd did not have a great day, but still managed to win 3-0 against Umm Salal, who played for more than an hour with 10 men after Davi Jose was red-carded for a foul on South Korean defender Lee Jung-Soo in the 28th minute. The player’s loss wrecked havoc on their attacking ability and they never recovered.

Al Sadd's Ivorian striker Abdulkhader Keita gave them the lead in the 14th. Mohammed Abdulrab and Khalfan Ibrahim scored their other two goals in the 80th and 90th minutes respectively.

Al Arabi remained the only unbeaten team in the Qatar Stars League. Al Arabi and Lakhwiya, placed first and second respectively in the league table, played out an entertaining 1-1 draw. Al Arabi took the lead in the 48th minute through Mohsen Al Yazidi. Lakhwiya fought hard throughout and Khaled Muftah scored the equaliser for them in the 88th minute.

Qatar Sports Club played out a hotly-contested 0-0 draw against minnows Al Ahli, which also saw three red cards in all. Both teams wasted chances galore and Qatar SC will have no one to blame but themselves for the bad result. Three players – Abdullah Al Kuwari (Qatar SC), Wagner and Fabiano (both Al Ahli) – were given marching orders in the 90th for fighting.

In the other games, Al Kharaitiyat beat Al Khor 2-1 while Al Wakra played out a dull 0-0 draw against minnows Al Sailiya.


RESULTS

Al Arabi 1 v Lakhwiya 1
Al Wakra 0 v Al Sailiya 0
Al Gharafa 3 v Al Rayyan 3
Al Kharaitiyat 2 v Al Khor 1
Al Sadd 3 v Umm Salal 0
Qatar SC 0 Al Ahli 0

Taita T.S

Previous Qatar Stars League Results

World Cup Posters

Short lists for the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2010

The following 23 men (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2010:

Xabi Alonso (Spain), Daniel Alves (Brazil), Iker Casillas (Spain), Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Didier Drogba (Côte d'Ivoire), Samuel Eto'o (Cameroon), Cesc Fabregas (Spain), Diego Forlán (Uruguay), Asamoah Gyan (Ghana), Andrés Iniesta (Spain), Júlio César (Brazil), Miroslav Klose (Germany), Philipp Lahm (Germany), Maicon (Brazil), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Thomas Müller (Germany), Mesut Özil (Germany), Carles Puyol (Spain), Arjen Robben (Netherlands), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Germany), Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands), David Villa (Spain) and Xavi (Spain).

The following ten women (in alphabetical order) are in contention for the title of FIFA Women's World Player 2010:

Camille Abily (France), Fatmire Bajramaj (Germany), So Yun Ji (Korea Republic), Marta (Brazil), Birgit Prinz (Germany), Caroline Seger (Sweden), Christine Sinclair (Canada), Kelly Smith (England), Hope Solo (USA) and Abby Wambach (USA).

The following ten coaches (in alphabetical order, first nationality and then team) are in contention for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men's Football 2010:

Carlo Ancelotti (Italy/ Chelsea FC), Vicente del Bosque (Spain/Spain national team), Alex Ferguson (Scotland/Manchester United), Pep Guardiola (Spain/FC Barcelona), Joachim Löw (Germany/Germany national team), José Mourinho (Portugal/FC Internazionale Milano and Real Madrid CF), Oscar Tabárez (Uruguay/Uruguay national team), Louis Van Gaal (Netherlands, FC Bayern Munich), Bert Van Marwijk (Netherlands/Netherlands national team) and Arsène Wenger (France/Arsenal).

The winners will be revealed at the first FIFA Ballon d'Or gala as part of a televised ceremony at the Zurich Kongresshaus on 10 January 2011, during which the FIFA/FIFPro World XI and the FIFA Puskás Award for the most beautiful goal of the year will also be announced for the second year running. The FIFA Presidential Award and the FIFA Fair Play Award will also be presented during the gala.

World Cup Posters

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sports betting - handling losing streaks

Like poker, sports betting is a kind of activity that can be potentially psychologically straining on the player. Few people realize it, but both winning and losing streaks exact a psychological toll on players, that can lead to potential faults in the system they’re using. Winners can get greedy and wager more, this way kicking up a carefully balanced and well thought-out bankroll management system. Handling winning streaks is always easier than coping with losing streaks though. Losing streaks have the ungodly ability to make players chase their losses, which is the equivalent of going on tilt in poker. Needless to say, there’s nothing more destructive for your bankroll than that.
Here’s a brief list of what measures you can take when you’re hit by a losing streak, in order to help you tide your bankroll through the rough times to possibly see better days and to claw your way back above the red line.

Don’t watch the games you wager on. Unless you’re one of those utterly light-hearted recreational bettors who only bet to add some salt and pepper to the regular excitement of watching a game, you really shouldn’t watch the games on which you have action. The emotional high and lows provided by such games expose you to unnecessary stress. Seeing the match swing the other way in the last few seconds of action due to an erroneous call by the referee is a surefire way to tilt.

Venting is actually not a bad idea when it comes to losing streaks. Call your friends, or step outside and shout your woes into the wild blue yonder, just make sure you get over it as soon as possible. You do not want to stew in your anger a second longer than absolutely necessary.
Never forget to step back and to take a look at the bigger picture. Maybe you’ve lost money over a week’s time, but you may still be ahead for the month. Focus on what you did well when you were winning and try to replicate those actions. Don’t let your losing streak sway you: if you’re playing with EV+ you will turn a profit, all you need is some patience.

The “what if” is quite probably the biggest enemy of the bettor. The biggest problem with “what if” scenarios is that they carry faulty math. You may win $100 and ponder on about how you could’ve won $300 instead, had you made slightly different decisions. In hindsight, everything in much clearer in sports betting as well as in life in general. You can’t begin to base your future decisions on “what if” mathematics though because they just don’t work.

Successful sports betting can often feel weird: more precisely it can feel a lot like losing. Even extremely successful bettors often lose close to 50% of their bets. Stop chasing that “feeling like a winner” thing, because you’ll probably never find it and you’ll hurt your bankroll in the process too.
Take a long hard look at your losses and try to analyze them in a level-headed manner. I know it is difficult to get over your losses while analyzing them, but if you want to improve radically, this is the best way to do it. Take a look at the way the line moved, at the box scores and focus on clues you may have picked up but failed to act on for whatever reason.

Bet less. This is quite the opposite of chasing your losses. When you feel like you can’t really get anything right, stop pushing the envelope and pull back on the reins a little. This is a decent damage-control measure that will allow you to protect your bankroll while riding out losing streaks.
Damage control is equally important in online poker. Playing less when things don’t seem to work out is always a great idea, but an even better damage-control tool is rakeback. Sign up for a rakeback deal at rakemeback.com and you’ll limit your losses seriously. You may even get paid to play through one of pokerprops.com’s poker prop deals.

World Cup Posters

Monday, October 25, 2010

J League Results October 24

J.League.
Sunday 24 October

Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3 Shonan Bellmare 0
Kyoto Sanga 1 Gamba Osaka 2
Kashima Antlers 2 Yokohama F Marinos 0
Omiya Ardija 2 Kawasaki Frontale 2

Saturday 23 October

Jubilo Iwata 2 Urawa Reds 1
Vissel Kobe 1 Nagoya Grampus 2
Montedio Yamagata 0 Shimizu S-Pulse 3
Cerezo Osaka 0 Vegalta Sendai 0
FC Tokyo 1 Albirex Niigata 1

The highest attendance was 23,074 for the FC Tokyo v Albirex Niigata game.


J.League Table

Nagoya Grampus P 27 Pts 57
Kashima Antlers P 27 Pts 49
Gamba Osaka P 27 Pts 49
Cerezo Osaka P 27 Pts 45
Kawasaki Frontale P 27 Pts 45
Shimizu S-Pulse P 27 Pts 45
Sanfrecce Hiroshima P 27 Pts 42
Yokohama F Marinos P 27 Pts 42

Leading Scorers


Josh Kennedy, Nagoya Grampus 15
Shoki Hirai, Gamba Osaka 14
Ryoichi Maeda, Jubilo 13
Edmilson, Urawa Reds 13
Cho Young Cheol, Albirex Niigata 11
Shinji Okazaki, Shimizu S-Pulse 11

Previous Results

J.League News

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Football Friends


Football Friends is a new digital free football magazine.

Football Friends main objective is to engage and interact with the football fan, we intend to do this via delivering informative, interesting and sometimes controversial editorial, with a layout that is vibrant and sexy. The page volume will increase and with this so will the fan contribution, more exclusive interviews and more talented footballers will be showcased and interviewed.

Football Friends will soon become part of the match day experience and will be distributed outside football stadiums for free; once the digital aspect has been conquered Football Friends will set it sights on the printed addition….coming soon.



Christopher Peters
FootballFriends
Being a football fan just got a little better


T: 07912689787 F: 01634 864441

Friday, October 22, 2010

George's Premiership Predictions October 23

George got 3 results right and no perfect scores last week.

Sat 23rd October 2010

Tottenham 2 v Everton 1
Birmingham 1 v Blackpool 1
Chelsea 3 v Wolves 0
Sunderland 2 v Aston Villa 1
WBA 1 v Fulham 1
Wigan Athletic 0 v Bolton 0
West Ham Utd 1 v Newcastle 1

Sun 24th October 2010

Stoke City 2 v Man Utd 2
Liverpool 1 v Blackburn 1
Manchester City 1 v Arsenal 0

Previous week's George Predictions

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fifa World Rankings 20 October

FIFA Rankings.
Fifa's World Rankings came out today. World Cup winners Spain remain in top spot followed by The Netherlands, Brazil and Germany who swap places

England are unbelievably in 6th place, one adrift of Argentina who remain in 5th.

Egypt is the highest African team in 11th. The USA are down again to 25th. Italy also continue their descent to 16th.


1 Spain
2 Netherlands
3 Brazil
4 Germany
5 Argentina
6 England
7 Uruguay
8 Portugal
9 Croatia
10 Russia
11 Egypt
12 Greece
13 Norway
14 Chile
15 Slovenia
16 Italy
17 Ghana
18 France
19 Côte d'Ivoire
20 Slovakia

Full world rankings

Previous Fifa World Rankings

Bet with Bet 365

Soccer betting tips

Soccer Books & DVDs

Monday, October 18, 2010

The week that was

Wayne Rooney is threatening to leave Manchester United after another row with nice Mr Ferguson...Didn’t Beckham, Stam, Van Nistelrooy and Ronaldo fall out with Sir Alex too before heading for the exit at Old Trafford? I still seem to be the only person who does not think Fergie is a football genius.
Former Manchester City coach Malcolm Allison, who died this week aged 83, was best-known for his 1970s image – the fedora, cigars, nightclubs and glamour girls, as well as his rebranding of Crystal Palace as ‘the Eagles’, but he also had a shrewd soccer brain. He had realised by the early 1950s that English football was tactically obsolete, but unlike most, fought hard to do something about it through innovative coaching. He won the league and European Cup Winners’ Cup with City (the last all-English champions of England), turned down Juventus and won a Portuguese championship with Sporting Lisbon. Charismatic and flamboyant in public to the point of ridicule he was, yet he remained a sound judge of the game, and like many a English manager with continental leanings, was consistently overlooked by the myopic Football Association.
After the Sunday Times splashed the shock news that certain FIFA Executive Committee members are inviting investment in return for World Cup votes, their next assignment is to reveal that the earth goes around the sun.
This is no scoop. What is the Nigeria or Tahiti representative supposed to do other than try to boost the football infrastructure in their either poor or rugby-swamped nations? FiFA is always talking about developing the game in such places. And why are the bidding nations playing friendlies in places like Trinidad or Qatar other than to curry votes from the local members of the Executive Committee. This is politics, not cricket, like it or not, and FIFA have muddied the waters of the Corinthian spirit.
Yes, soccer is bent, inevitably so with so much money at stake you might say. At least an unnamed FIFA member let slip that England are not bribing for 2018...So that’s Russia’s in the bag then.
Fulham skipper Danny Murphy has kept the tabloids in business this week with a curious dig at Wolves, Stoke and Blackburn for playing too physically. Football surely is cleaner now than in the past, due to the banning of tackles from behind and the two-dozen cameras covering the pitch. If it seems rough it must be due to the pace of modern tackles flying in, or this year’s World Cup Final...It is not that Murphy does not know the sport began as a brawl between medieval villages; he is just a fiery lad. I recall watching a game at Craven Cottage in his presence and there was a brooding menace in the air, perhaps just what you want from a midfield enforcer. As I was exiting the press room toilets he was marching in and threw me a look of ‘get outta here you hack’.
Fabio Capello’s second England honeymoon juddered to a halt with a turgid 0-0 draw at Wembley against Montenegro this week, with uncomfortable echoes of the Algeria game in Cape Town this summer, the most painfully soporific 90 minutes I can recall. From high up in Wembley I saw the white shirts’ predictable approach fail to bear fruit, but watching the tape the next day, the Montenegrins’ organisation looked quite impressive. Top of the group, they could ruffle some more feathers soon...
The same night Serb thugs got the Italy v Serbia clash in Genoa called off. For once, Italian teppisti were not to blame. Coming only days after extreme right-wing yobs (perhaps the same ones) viciously attacked a gay pride march in Sarajevo, Serbia seems hell-bent on winning the crown of being Europe’s bad boys. I have heard a few football chants in my time, but nothing as vile as those coming from the orifices of Yugoslavia fans at the 1998 World Cup in Nantes - ditties boasting of Serb militia atrocities in the Balkan conflict of the early ‘90s to be precise.
Liverpool’s flirting with doom is the other main story here this week. Second to bottom with Gerrard and Torres in the team? How times have changed. The Liverpool of my youth were one of the few teams I have watched (along with Milan of the early 1990s) who at times appeared unbeatable. The new American owners have no background in the game, but surely they cannot be worse than the previous duo.
(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

World Cup Posters

J League Results October 17

J.League.
Sunday 17 October

Yokohama F Marinos 1 Vissel Kobe 0
Albirex Niigata 4 Nagoya Grampus 1


Saturday 16 October

Shonan Bellmare 1 Kashima Antlers 1
Vegalta Sendai 3 FC Tokyo 2
Urawa Reds 2 Cerezo Osaka 0
Sanfrecce Hiroshima 1 Jubilo Iwata 1
Gamba Osaka 5 Omiya Ardija 1
Kawasaki Frontale 2 Montedio Yamagata 0
Shimizu S-Pulse 1 Kyoto Sanga 1


The highest attendance was 32,902 for the Reds v Cerezo game.


J.League Table

Nagoya Grampus P 26 Pts 54
Kashima Antlers P 26 Pts 46
Gamba Osaka P 26 Pts 46
Cerezo Osaka P 26 Pts 44
Kawasaki Frontale P 26 Pts 44
Yokohama F Marinos 26 Pts 42
Shimizu S-Pulse P 26 Pts 42

Leading Scorers


Josh Kennedy, Nagoya Grampus 15
Ryoichi Maeda, Jubilo 13
Shoki Hirai, Gamba Osaka 13
Edmilson, Urawa Reds 12
Cho Young Cheol, Albirex Niigata 11
Shinji Okazaki, Shimizu S-Pulse 11

Previous Results

J.League News

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Qatar Stars League Week 5

Lakhwiya are giant-killers again

QSL.
Lakhwiya once again proved to be giant-killers. They defeated Qatar Sports Club, who had been undefeated until then, 1-0. Al Arabi, the only as-yet unbeaten team, zoomed to the top of the tables.

Qatar Sports Club, known for their power game, could not execute it well against Lakhwiya. The Qatar Stars League newcomers refused to flinch from Qatar SC’s attacks. Ivory Coast’s Bakari Kone did the star turn for Lakhwiya in the 23rd. He made no mistakes in converting the penalty, awarded after Aruna Dindane was brought down inside the box.

Al Arabi had another great outing. They ran circles around Al Wakra and overcame them 3-0. Although Brazilians Carlos Kim and Everaldo Parreira were missing from the Al Arabi line-up, it hardly seemed to matter. Waleed Hamza scored Al Arabi’s first goal in the 44th. Argentinian Leonardo Pisculichi put in the second (47th) while Salman Issa completed the scoring (56th).

Reigning Emir’s Cup champions Al Rayyan failed to impress and they laboured to a 2-1 win over minnows Al Sailiya. The Emir’s Cup champions took time to settle down and waited until the 44th for Jaralla Al Marri to score. Ivory Coast’s Amara Diane converted a penalty in the 73rd to increase their lead. Ali Mejbal hit one back for Al Sailiya in the 78th.

Al Sadd fought hard to win 2-0 against promoted-side Al Ahli. Ali Afif did the star turn and scored on both occasions. The Wolves seemed to be holding back, throughout the game, and never once reached their full attacking potential.

In a shocking result, lowly Al Kharaitiyat downed Umm Salal 3-2. Japanese Onekachi Okonowo opened the scoring for Al Kharaitiyat, but Umm Salal soon attained parity through Spaniard Gabri Garcia. Yahia Kabe restored Al Kharaitiyat’s lead in the 40th while Brazilian Davi Jose made it 2-2 for Umm Salal. Onekachi then scored the winner in the 44th.

Qatar Stars League champions Al Gharafa blanked Al Khor 3-0 in a one-sided game. Anas Mubarak was their hero after he struck in the 70th and 89th minutes. Clemerson Soares converted from the spot in the 77th.


RESULTS

Al Arabi 3 v Al Wakra 0
Al Rayyan 2 v Al Sailiya 1
Lakhwiya 1 v Qatar SC 0
Al Kharaitiyat 3 v Umm Salal 2
Al Sadd 2 v Al Ahli 0
Al Gharafa 3 v Al Khor 0


Taita T.S

Previous Qatar Stars League Results

Friday, October 15, 2010

Qatar Stars League Week 4

Al Arabi topple Al Sadd

QSL.
Al Arabi’s young guns tamed mighty Al Sadd 2-1 in the fourth week of the Qatar Stars League. Al Arabi goalkeeper Rajab Hamza was outstanding and was rightly selected as the man of the match. His great performance helped Al Arabi remain unbeaten in the League.

Al Arabi, who previously stunned defending champions Al Gharafa, thus produced their second shock win in as many weeks. They missed Brazilian Everaldo Parreira from their line-up. His compatriot and coach Pericles Chamusca has had a dream start to his tenure in the Qatar Stars League.

Al Arabi took the lead in the 45th minute through Allam Khoki but Sadd equalised through Ivory Coast striker Kader Keita. Argentinian Leonardo Pisculichi, one of the few players from his country plying their trade in Qatar, scored the winner for Al Arabi in the 69th minute.

Al Gharafa continued their losing streak, this time to League leaders Qatar Sports Club (2-0). The men from the ‘yellow and black’ team dominated throughout. They went ahead through Brazilian Luis Marcinho in the 33rd and Fazal Omer in the 68th.

Al Rayyan, who started the League as title contenders, played out a dull 0-0 draw against Al Khor. Both teams had enough opportunities to score, but seemed to lose their nerve in front of the goalmouth. Rayyan sorely missed Brazilian playmaker Afonso Alves and it affected their attacks.

Lowly Al Sailiya held Umm Salal to a surprise 1-1 draw. Spaniard Gabri Garcia gave the Orange men the lead in the 57th minute, but Ali Mejbal cancelled out the advantage just 12 minutes later.

Lakhwiya, new entrants to the Qatar Stars League, displayed their strength with a clinical 4-1 dismantling of Al Wakra. Ivory Coast's Aruna Dindane shot them ahead in the 25th, but Mohammed Mudasser put Wakra back on even keel. Ivorian Bakri Kone scored in the 52nd and 60th while Damou Traore ended their rivals’ misery.

In a battle of the lowest-ranked teams, Al Kharaitiyat defeated Al Ahli 2-0.

RESULTS

Al Arabi 2 v Sadd 1
Al Rayyan 0 v Al Khor 0
Lakhwiya 4 v Al Wakra 1
Al Kharaitiyat 2 v Al Ahli 0
Umm Salal 1 v Al Sailiya 1

Taita T.S

Previous Qatar Stars League Results

World Cup Posters

George's Premiership Predictions October 16

George got 6 results right and 3 perfect scores last week.

Sat 16th October 2010

Arsenal 3 v Birmingham 1
Bolton 1 v Stoke City 1
Fulham 0 v Tottenham 0
Man Utd 2 v WBA 0
Newcastle 0 v Wigan Athletic 0
Wolves 0 v West Ham Utd 1
Aston Villa 1 v Chelsea 2


Sun 17th October 2010

Everton 1 v Liverpool 1
Blackpool 0 v Manchester City 2

Mon 18 October

Blackburn 1 v Sunderland 1

Previous week's George Predictions

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Old Rivals Meet With New Faces On Board

South Korea v Japan.
They say that familiarity breeds contempt but that is not the feeling that will be paramount at Seoul World Cup Stadium on Tuesday when South Korea meet Japan for the third time this year. Although the World Cup is still fresh in the memory, both nations are looking firmly forward to the Asian Cup that starts in less than three months.

It is barely three months since the two teams left South Africa in high spirits after reaching the second round for the first time ever on foreign soil.

That was a very pleasant surprise for fans and media in Japan. If you were present at the National Stadium in Tokyo on May 25, you would have seen the men in blue lose at home to Korea for the second time in a matter of weeks. The 2-0 victory for the Taeguk Warriors flattered the hosts rather than the visitors and the Samurai Blue left the field amid the familiar contemptuous jeers of the home support. Japan’s preparations for South Africa had been almost disastrous with defeat following defeat and the entire nation was planning for the pain that was sure to come under the African sun.

It didn’t happen as Japan shocked those back home and a fair few others around the world by winning two of its three group games against Cameroon and then, memorably, against Denmark. A 3-1 win over the Europeans included two masterful free-kicks from the feet of Keisuke Honda and Yasuhito Endo that sent Samurai Blue screaming into the last sixteen. A place in the last eight beckoned but Paraguay triumphed in a penalty shootout after 120 minutes of soccer ended goalless.

Suddenly beleaguered coach Takeshi Okada was a hero though he had already decided not to stay on in the Tokyo hotseat. He was eventually replaced by Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni and this is the second game for the former AC Milan and Juventus boss. As well as a different tactician on the bench, this is a different Japan team than the one which limply lost to its bitter rival in February and May and it is one that has just defeated Argentina.

“My mission is to cultivate Japanese talent on a long-term basis. I’m going to build a team with sights set on the World Cup in Brazil.” said Zaccheroni. “The new players have shown good performance this month and I and my staff observed this. I want to emphasize a balance between attack and defense.”

Alberto Zaccheroni.


That attack is led by Honda, one of the stars of South Africa. He may be the best known but he is just one of a new influx of Japanese stars in Europe impressing their new fans. Shinji Kagawa didn’t even go to the World Cup but the former Cerezo Osaka midfielder is wowing the fans at German giants Borussia Dortmund.

Kagawa is just starting out in the big leagues while Park Ji-sung has been playing out west for eight years now. Still only 29, the Manchester United man told me recently that he is determined to help Korea win the Asian title for the first time since 1960, a poor record for a team that boasts the continent’s best World Cup record.

That team is about to play its third game under new coach Cho Kwang-rae. Coach Cho has overseen one win, against Nigeria in Suwon in August, and one loss, against Iran in Seoul last month. A second successive defeat at home would put Cho on the backfoot but a win and all would be looking good ahead of games at the Asian Cup with Australia, Bahrain.

Much of the talk before the match was on how Cho would utilise Park Ji-sung. The Manchester United man had been a little isolated in attack against Iran and the coach planned to move him back to midfield. A knee injury has ruled the player out of the match.

Instead Cho hopes that a number of young players that have been impressing at home can make a difference.

“Players like Kim Shin-wook, Yoo Byung-soo and Koo Ja-cheol among others, are capable players with many positive features to their games,” said Cho at a press conference yesterday. “I’ve been watching their play in the K-League consistently and selected them because of their solid play.”

A good result is always needed against Japan but with the Asian Cup looming ever closer, there is more at stake than regional pride. Continental glory is just around the corner.

© John Duerden & Soccerphile

World Cup Posters

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Euro 2012 Qualifying Round Up

In a thrilling round of Euro 2012 qualifying games, Portugal defeated Denmark in Porto to kick start their faltering campaign. Germany easily overcame Turkey 3-0 in Berlin while Montenegro kept their 100% record with a win over Switzerland to set up an intriguing tie with England at Wembley on Tuesday.

World and European champions Spain beat Lithuania 3-1 in Salamanca, the Netherlands won 1-0 away in Moldova while Italy were held to a scoreless draw with Northern Ireland in Belfast in Group C.

Scotland lost 1-0 to the Czech Republic in Prague, Ireland lost 3-2 at home to Russia to throw the group wide open, while Wales lost 1-0 in Cardiff to Bulgaria in Group G and have yet to register a point.

A Look Back At World Cup 2010 South Africa

As at the 2002 World Cup in Korea/Japan some of the stadiums built for the 2010 World Cup have already or will become white elephants, while a large proportion of South Africa's population still live in poverty.


Most of the profit made at the tournament has gone into the coffers at Fifa.

The managers of the World Cup stadium in Cape Town have pulled out of their 30-year contract as it has very little potential for ongoing business. Sail Stadefrance said it had projected “substantial losses” if it took up the project.

Western Province rugby team will not move to the new stadium, which is facing heavy losses and the running of which has been taken over by the city. Cape Town invested around R2-billion of its own money before the World Cup. Fifa rejected cheaper sites at Athlone and Newlands as ”not suitable”.

“We had no choice. It was Greenpoint or don't be involved in the World Cup.

At an overall cost of Rand 5 billion, Mr Blatter's real legacy to the poor of Africa.

World Cup Posters

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Qatar Stars League Week 3

Al Khor are giant killers

Qatar.
Al Khor turned giant killers by beating Al Sadd 3-1 at home. The men in blue were a better side against the much more fancied Al Sadd.

Al Sadd, or the Wolves, as they are popularly known, has big ambitions in the Qatar League. But they will have to urgently pull up their socks if those plans are to succeed. They played a pathetic game against Al Khor and their famed attacking line-up failed to deliver.

Al Khor took the lead in the 38th minute through their Brazilian striker Alan Bahia. However Al Sadd hit back through Qatar international Hassan Al Haidous in the 58th minute. But the Al Khor players never stopped attacking and that was the key to their success. Bakhit Hadi Al Marri (89th) and Sellani Ribeiro (90th) scored through great moves to seal a sensational victory.

Al Arabi got the better of Qatar Stars League champions Al Gharafa with an emphatic 3-1 win. Al Arabi, one of the most impressive sides in the tournament this year, fully lived up to their billing of title favourites. They went ahead 2-0 through Abdulaziz Al Sulaiti in the 9th and 51st minutes.

However a silly defensive error cost them dear. Mousa Haroun, in attempt to clear the ball, accidentally hit it into his own post. But the last nail in Al Gharafa’s coffin was driven in when Ibrahim Al Ghanim got red-carded for a dangerous tackle on Al Arabi’s midfield maestro Leonardo Pisculichi in the 79th minute. He made no mistakes from the spot to earn his team another famous win.

Qatar Sports Club earned a hard fought 2-1 victory over last year’s AFC Champions League semi-finalists Umm Salal. Qatar thus remained unbeaten in the League. Umm Salal’s Dutch coach Henk Ten Cate is yet to deliver on his promise of an attacking-minded team. They made far too many errors and easily gave away possession.

Qatar SC’s Iraqi player Qusai Munir opened the proceedings in the 37th minute, but Umm Salal hit back through Brazilian Davi Jose in the 64th. However Qatar’s Ivory Coast star Dibi Lacina bided his time and finished the game in the 75th minute.

In other matches, Al Rayyan defeated Al Wakra 3-0. Newcomers Lekhwiya, one of the most formidable sides in the Qatar Stars League this season, fought hard to win over Al Kharaitiyat 2-1.In a battle between two bottom-placed teams, Al Sailiya defeated Al Ahli 2-1. As a direct result of the defeat, Al Ahli terminated the services of Serbian coach Ilija Petkovic.

RESULTS

Al Khor 3 Al Sadd 1
Al Arabi 2 Al Gharafa 1
Qatar SC 2 Umm Salal 1
Al Rayyan 3 Al Wakra 0
Lekhwiya 2 Al Kharaitiyat 1
Al Sailiya 2 Al Ahli 1


Taita T.S

Previous Qatar Stars League Results

Monday, October 4, 2010

J League Results October 3

J League Results October 3.
Sunday 3 October

Jubilo Iwata 0 Yokohama F Marinos 0
FC Tokyo 3 Shonan Bellmare 0

Saturday 2 October

Montedio Yamagata 2 Gamba Osaka 1
Omiya Ardija 1 Urawa Reds 2
Kyoto Sanga 0 Sanfrecce Hiroshima 3
Vissel Kobe 0 Kawasaki Frontale 4
Kashima Antlers 1 Shimizu S-Pulse 1
Nagoya Grampus 2 Vegalta Sendai 1
Cerezo Osaka 2 Albirex Niigata 1


The highest attendance was 33,660 for the Ardija v Urawa game.


J.League Table

Nagoya Grampus P 25 Pts 54
Kashima Antlers P 25 Pts 45
Cerezo Osaka P 25 Pts 44
Gamba Osaka P 25 Pts 43
Kawasaki Frontale P 25 Pts 41
Shimizu S-Pulse P 25 Pts 41
Yokohama F Marinos 25 Pts 39


Leading Scorers


Josh Kennedy, Nagoya Grampus 14
Ryoichi Maeda, Jubilo 12
Edmilson, Urawa Reds 11
Cho Young Cheol, Albirex Niigata 11
Shinji Okazaki, Shimizu S-Pulse 11
Shoki Hirai, Gamba Osaka 11


Previous Results

J.League News

Friday, October 1, 2010

George's Premiership Predictions October 2

George got 3 results right and no perfect scores last week.

Sat 2nd October 2010

Wigan Athletic 1 v Wolves 1
Birmingham 1 v Everton 0
Stoke City 2 v Blackburn 1
Sunderland 2 v Man Utd 2
Tottenham 2 v Aston Villa 1
WBA 2 v Bolton 1
West Ham Utd 1 v Fulham 1


Sun 3rd October 2010

Manchester City 2 v Newcastle 1
Liverpool 2 v Blackpool 0
Chelsea 2 v Arsenal 1

Previous week's George Predictions