The Japanese Men's National Soccer Team was established in 1917, but it was not until 1993 that it had the hope of entering the World Cup for the first time. Prior to this, the Japanese Soccer Team had went through many things, I will introduce to you those experience for the next chance.
On October 28, 1993, in the final round of the 1994 USA FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers, Japan VS Iraq, the match had already headed deep into the final stoppage time in the second half with Japan's leading the Iraqi team 2-1. If the match was over at that time, Japanese Team would be able to qualify for the World Cup for the first time, unfortunately, Iraqis equalized at the final 30 seconds,
which making the Japanese team lose the right to play. Japanese fans called the game "The Doha Tragedy".
Then in 1998 France World Cup, Japanese Team reached the World Cup finals for the first time. On November 16, 1997, Japan VS Iran, at the 13th minutes of extra time, Masayuki Okano scored one golden goal, according to the Golden Rules of the play-offs at that time, Japanese Team achieved a dramatic victory with 3: 2. So Japanese fans called the game "Johor Baharu's Joy".
The Japanese Team finally entered into the World Cup finals. However, in the group stage, the Japanese Team lost all 3 matches, obviously was eliminated. Although the opponents were Argentine, Croatian and Jamaican teams with higher levels, yet the disappointing performance of the Japanese Team got all Japan down.
Some fans even made some drastic actions such as pouring water on the returning players.
After achieving the first qualifying round of the World Cup, the popularity of Japanese football had been rising to an unprecedented height, at the same time, everyone had high expectations for the next World Cup which would be held after 4 years.
Next, Japan's World Cup history entered the 2000s (21st century). In 2002, Japan and South Korea jointly held the FIFA World Cup, and Japan’s football enthusiasm was soared to unprecedented heights. We have to stop here this time, see you again in the next World Cup Series.
Please click here for the Adachi＠MaDeLa's article!
→ Read more articles of Manga de Japan