At the start of January when the 2011 Asian cup was about to start I made me bold, bias and sensible prediction that Japan would walk away with the cup this year. The Blue Samurai didn’t disappointed me and building on their excellent performance at the World Cup last year then went on to beat Australian 1-0 in the final to become the 2011 Champions of Asia, their forth overall – the most by any team in the Asian division.
Beautiful Goal and MVP
The final went to extra time and although Australia pilled on the pressure and had the bulk of the chances, Japan defended valiantly and struck a beautiful volleyed goal by substitute Tadanari Lee after excellent work by right back Yuto Nagatomo to seal the win in the 108th minute after Australia seemed worn out and vulnerable in extra time. Japan star Keisuke Honda continued his brilliant performance from the world cup, pulling the strings in midfield throughout the tournament as was chosen as the tournament’s most valuable player. Highlights of the final in a video below – RSS feed and email readers might have to click here to view it properly.
Tough luck Australia a few of my J-blogger pals like Reesan and AdelaideBen are from Oz but the Blue Samurai got the better of the Socceroos! well at least this time ;)
This is my submission for the February 2011 Japan Blog Maturi!