Asia Cup
1992 Asian Cup champion, Japan, lost to Kuwait in the quarterfinals on Dec. 15. Kuwait scored 2 goals while Japan was unable to make any. Japan did swell in the preliminary round in Group C. They defeated all teams--Syria, Uzbekistan and China.
Michiyo's Note: I was watching Japan vs Kuwait live on TV until almost 3 am. It was devastating!

The 17th Toyota Cup
The world club championship between the top teams of Europe and South America took place at Tokyo's National Stadium on Nov. 26. Argentine team River Plate was led by manager Ramon Diaz who played for many years in Japan as the ace striker of the Yokohama Marinos. Unfortunately, his team wasn't able to celebrate his return to his 2nd home country. 36 minutes into the later half of the game, Juventus' Alessandro Del Piero kicked in a goal. This gave the Italian club team a victory over River Plate 1 to 0.

Japan's world ranking
According to FIFA, soccer's international ruling body, Japan has improved its world ranking. On Sept.26, Japan has been placed number 20. It's the highest ever ranking that an Asian country has reached. South Korea has been given 41st place and Thailand 50, The reason for Japan's surge is owed to its victory in recent friendly matches. Japan defeated Uruguay 5 to 3 in August, and beat Asian Games champion Uzbekistan early in September.

Back to Soccer Archive Index