After Germany World Cup in, Ivica Osim took the position of head coach of the Japanese National Men's Football Team, but he had to resign due to a sudden cerebral infarction. Then Okada Takeshi took over as the next head coach, and Japanese Team started out a new journey."
Although he took over the Japanese Team in the halfway, yet Okada regained the control of the rudder and led the Japanese Team successfully qualified for the World Cup through the Asia in the fastest speed. In this way, Japan should participate in the FIFA World Cup in the four consecutive times.
Then, the 2010 South Africa World Cup officially began.
In the group stage, the Japanese Team was drawn in Group E with Cameroon, Netherland and Denmark. As usual, the Japanese Team should be the weakest. In the important open match with Cameroon, Japan beat Cameroon with a goal of well-behaved Keisuke Honda, so Japan had a splendid prospect.
In the second match with Netherland, if Japan won, they would advance from the Group, but Shunsuke Nakamura, the leader of Japanese Team for a long time, had to play in the middle of the game, although he is a man of valor, yet Japan was finally defeated by a strong midfield long shot by Wesley Sneijder, 0-1.
With one win and one loss, in the third match, Japan and Denmark competed for the last qualifying place, with two excellent free kicks of Honda Keisuke and Yasuhito Endo, Japan finally took a lead 3-1 victory over the Danish Team and entered the knock-out phase of the competition.
In the eighth-finals, Japanese Team played against the South American team of Paraguay. The two teams did not give any chance to the other and entered the penalty shootout with a score of 0-0. Unfortunately, Yuichi Komano smashed a shot wide, so Japanese Team had to leave the World Cup with a final 16.
What do you think? In the 2010 South African World Cup, the external comments on Japanese National Men's Football Team was not so high, but the players bravely struggled and gained the respect! After this, the young players of the Japanese Team developed and flourished, with the help of Alberto Zaccheroni, a well-known Italian coach, Japanese Team got more mature.... then see you next time.
"For Part I: 1993-1998, please click here
"For Part II: 2002, please click here
"For Part III: 2006 please click here"
"For Part Ⅳ: 2006-2008, please click here