Monday, June 12, 2006

Japan v Australia ... no sweat

Tonight sees Japan's first match in the World Cup. Their opponents are Australia, a bunch of dirty cloggers if the Japanese Football Association chief's words are to be believed (maybe he has seen Lucas Neill in action for Blackburn this season). The hype on the TV here has been quite amazing. All sorts of shows with all sorts of pundits giving all sorts of opinions, all sorts of advice, and all sorts of "interesting" anecdotes. One ex-pro, the intensely annoying Yomiuri Verdy player of yore, Kitazawa (long of hair, short of legs and talent), explained to the Japanese populace that one of the main problems the Japanese players would face was when the shirt-swapping took place at the end of a match. This is no problem within the borders of Japan, apparently, but international matches can be a bit of a problem because them there foreigners ming a bit.

So can Zico's sweet-scented Blue Samurai overcome the dirty (in more ways than one) Aussies tonight?

My money is on a draw. But watch out for the shirt-swapping etiquette. Which of the Japanese players will be brave enough to don an Aussie shirt at the end of the game?

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