JAPAN'S GAME PLAN HELPS USA RECIEVE A WIN
Zico Japan's campaign for the World Cup had started from the friendly match against USA. Wearing new uniforms for the World Cup, Japan's players stood at San Francisco's SBC Park but they'd showed me the least bearable performances in the games of Japan I've watched in last a couple of years. Japan allowed USA to make decisive chances to rush for the goal in the 1st half after six Japanese midfielders couldn't collect the ball. The time did came that USA's centerback Eddie Pope easily found the target out of Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi's hands. USA cruised, moreover, to add the goal by Clint Dempsey and Taylor Twellman, who headed it from the corner by captain Landon Donovan early in the 2nd.
It appeared that Zico led for a bad situation by a 3-6-1 formation at head of Tatsuhiko Kubo, who had returned from the injury since 2004. Starting the 2nd half to change a usual 3-5-2 formation with substituting two strikers Seiichiro Maki and Hisato Sato for Kubo and midfielder Yasuhito Endo, it flowed more badly to allow the 3rd goal against USA. Then Zico more changed it to a 4-4-2 formation to use the rest of time for the test of young players, Yuki Abe and Makoto Hasebe off the bench at 35 minutes to end. At last it found a better way to make the ball move around the field. I didn't think that USA players got fatigue, because Japan's bench players including Masashi Motoyama fought back to activate starters Alex Santos and Ryo Kaji. That was how Japan tried to come back the game to cut the deficit by Maki and Yuji Nakazawa lately.
This night, USA had physical strength and speed much more, while Japan showed more toughness and bench works. As a Japanese, I expect to watch the rematch in the R16 of FIFA World Cup Germany.
FIFA International Friendly
at San Francisco, USA (10 Feb)
Japan 2-3 USA