For Japan, The World Cup Is Half Empty

July 1st, 2010 | 5 comments | Posted by Diana

Yesterday’s Japan vs. Paraguay elimination game was one of the most arduous, intense—even cinematic of the World Cup so far.

It wasn’t a pretty game, but it was tight. Regulation play (90 minutes) ended in a draw. Overtime (30 minutes) ended in a draw. And then came the shootout (see video below… worst moment in the world at 4:05):

Both teams played head-to-head as long as possible, and in the end, it came down to ten kick attempts. In the Cup’s only shootout so far, Paraguay didn’t miss a penalty kick, and Japan did. The shootout ended at 5-3… with many tears.

Komano, after the failed penalty kick

I just want to scoop Yuichi Komano, who seemed inconsolable after his miss, up in my arms and say, “Hey buddy. It coulda happened to anyone!”

Okay, that’s not what I want to say. What I want to say is, “Hey buddy, your country is going to brutalize you, but please don’t kill yourself out of shame. Come to the States and keep me warm!”

[LAT: World Cup - Tearful Ending For Japan, Paraguay]
[NYT: Victory, Defeat And Fate In One Cruel Moment]


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5 Responses to “For Japan, The World Cup Is Half Empty”

  1. Cindy says:

    It was just heart breaking when that ball hit the cross bar. I couldn’t believe it.

  2. Wiggles says:

    I recently decided that Japan will be the place where I kick the can. I hope this comes to fruition regardless of what age I’d be when the time comes. I’ve been half way around the world and lived in both Germany and Sweden, but have never been to Japan, much less even Asia. I just know I belong there. One of the most fascinating histories in all the world, A population of cuties and a weirdness so appealing I’d probably just combust anyway.

    I will always cheer for Japan regardless of the occasion.

  3. cDonnaF says:

    Go for it, Diana! Charlie Brown never felt worse about being the goat than poor Yuichi. I bet he needs lots of love and support and comforting.

  4. erikakharada says:

    Japan fans are nice, they wouldn’t brutalize him. I can’t blame him for the miss; I’m just glad they got so far.

    Wiggles: Uhhh…Japan isn’t the land of cuteness and weird. Of course there’s some of that, but not nearly as much as the media will have you think. Sorry. And you really wouldn’t belong there if you’re not Japanese; people are notoriously xenophobic while being polite to your face.

  5. Wiggles says:

    Wiggles sez:

    Gakki desu ka. I understand, Erika. You sound like you’re Japanese and know your way around the country. Still, I feel an overwhelming belonging there and hopefully would find my a way somehow.

    Gotta jet. Happy 4th, folks!

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