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Saturday, August 4, 2012

Japan Women's Soccer Team to Semi-Finals

Despite possibly throwing a match to arrange a 'home' date in Cardiff, Wales where it had played all of its round-robin games, the Japanese Women's soccer team is through to the semi-finals of Olympic fotball action.

Personally, I felt that NOT playing to win, and under instruction from the coach to NOT win, the entire Japanese woman's soccer team should have been thrown out of the soccer tourney. That whole story is HERE.

As for its quarter-final results against Brazil, Japan defeated them 2-0.

 Ogimi Yuki scored in the first half and Shinobu Ohno (surname first) in the second half to lead the Japanese over the South Americans at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.

"The players did a very good job," Japan coach Saski Norio (surname first) notes. "They were very patient and controlled the game. It was our first time playing against Brazil at a major tournament and the players could have been fearful of them. But we knew their stamina would decline in the second half, so I told the players to get the ball forward quickly, and it worked."

Ogimi scored in the 27th minute, when Sakaguchi Mizuho (surname first) found Ogimi, who knocked the ball into the lower corner.

Ohno added an insurance tally in the 73rd minute.

"This was the best we have played in any of the four matches we have had at this Olympics," says Brazilian star Marta (no other name - she's Brazilian) - perhaps the best woman's player ever. "It all comes down to staying alert for the whole match. We lost concentration twice and it cost us two goals."

The Brazilians had their chances, including a Marta free kick that just went wide and Cristiane's (also no last name - Brazilian) header that sailed over the crossbar.

"It was not the result I was expecting, and nor was it fair," says Marta, five-time FIFA women's player of the year. "We played better than Japan."

Really Marta? Shut your mouth and give credit where it is due. You sully your reputation.

For the Brazilians, it will be a four-year wait until the Rio Janeiro 2016 Summer Games - home town favorites, to be sure.

For Japan, it will play France, while Canada and the U.S. will slug it out in the other semi-final match - both taking place on Monday, August 6, 2012.

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