Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Super Tuesday...


Keisuke Honda was elevated to national hero Wednesday with banner front pages hailing his last gasp equaliser against Australia that secured Japan's berth to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
The CSKA Moscow midfielder banged home a stoppage time penalty at Saitama Stadium near Tokyo to give the Asian champions the draw they needed to propel them to Brazil as the first team to qualify.
"Japan qualifies for World Cup," screamed the mass-selling Yomiuri Shimbun, in a headline echoed by most newspapers.
"Honda World Cup. Grandpa, I did it," said the Sports Nippon on a wraparound front page that showed the goal-scorer on his knees looking up to the sky. The player's grandfather died last month.
Wednesday morning television devoted a large chunk of broadcast time to the dramatic equaliser off a penalty won after an apparently unwitting handball in the area by Australia's Matt McKay.
The 1-1 result left the Asian champions seven points clear and uncatchable in Group B, putting them through to their fifth straight FIFA World Cup. It was the first time they have sealed qualification on home soil.
Nationwide celebrations
More than 15,000 fans watching the game on screens at the National Stadium in Tokyo erupted on the final whistle into chants of "Nippon! Nippon!" while 2,500 supporters at the Nagai stadium in Osaka shouted the scorer's name.
Boisterous celebrations in the city saw around a dozen fans plunging into the Dotombori waterway.
But the joy on Wednesday was tempered by warnings that Japan needed to up their game if they were to match the quality of teams they will meet in Brazil.
"It was a game in which Japan had to face a reality - they cannot beat Australia in 90 minutes at this moment," Brazilian-born football commentator Sergio Echigo told Nikkan Sports.
"Australia are not at their peak. Many of them are in their 30s... and they slowed down in the second half. Top teams in the world are stronger than them."
Echigo warned that Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni may need new blood and new tactics after the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 later this month.
"There was no takeaway from the game other than Japan's qualification for the World Cup," former national youth team coach Ryohei Suzuki told tabloid Nikkan Gendai.
"Since the 1-0 defeat to North Korea, Zaccheroni has become passive in his selection of players, his tactics and everything. I don't understand why he sticks to forming a team that relies so much on Honda," he said.

Oh, those Gold Goast Suns...


North Melbourne have once again squandered a first-quarter lead as Gold Coast claimed a 15-point AFL win on Saturday night.
The Suns scored a 9.12 (66) to 8.3 (51) victory despite the Kangaroos booting four goals to none in the opening quarter to lead by 25 points at the first change.
Sparked by another stirring performance from captain Gary Ablett, who brilliantly set up a second-quarter effort for Luke Russell, the Suns kicked seven unanswered majors either side of halftime to gain the edge at a wet Metricon Stadium.
Ablett, Russell and Tom Lynch all booted two goals each for the home team, while Trent McKenzie was among the best on ground with a nine-mark, 25-disposal display.
Drew Petrie, Aaron Black and Lindsay Thomas kicked two goals each for the Kangaroos but it was a remarkable miss from Thomas in the first quarter which stood out.
The Kangaroos forward had done well to intercept a poor cross-field kick from Tom Lynch on the 50m arc before sprinting towards goal.
But, with the path to goal still clear, Thomas opted to grubber from 15m out and could only steer the ball onto the post.
Thomas responded to boot the first goal of the second quarter but for the next 40 minutes it was one-way traffic as the Suns dominated to pull in front of the struggling visitors.
By the time Daniel Wells kicked a goal for North in the third quarter the Suns had turned their early deficit into a 17-point lead.
Sam Gibson soccered a goal inside the opening minute of the fourth quarter but an inspirational run and goal from Ablett straight after halted the `Roos momentum.
From then the Suns held firm with Russell's second major sealing the home team's fifth win of the campaign and leaving the Kangaroos finals hopes hanging by a thread.
The Suns will face a nervous wait on star tall Charlie Dixon, who left the field in the final term after hurting his right ankle in his first game back from injury.
Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna said despite his comments pre-match about having a chance of over-running the Kangaroos if they could match them early, even he had his doubts after the first quarter.
"Clearly that wasn't the way we wanted to start," McKenna said.
"The other clubs have had to put that pressure on North to get that result and that was clearly what we had to do after quarter-time.
"Certainly a couple of our dopey mistakes in the back half of the ground really opened us up but I thought after quarter-time the boys showed a lot of poise, resilience and, again, our ability to run out the game I thought was super."
Kangaroos coach Brad Scott denied his men had a mental block despite holding a quarter-time lead in 10 of their 11 fixtures but only converting that into victory four times.
Scott said the loss to the Suns had more to do with an inability to adapt to the wet conditions as well as their opponents.
"There's no capitulation, just an inability to do the fundamentals well," Scott said.
"Others can talk about it if they want but that's not an issue as far as I'm concerned."
• The Adelaide coach Brenton Sanderson says his Crows were insipid and embarrassing when given a 77-point belting by AFL premiersSydney.
The Swans' premiership defence continued to gain ominous momentum with a crushing 19.13 (127) to 6.14 (50) away victory at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.
Sanderson was aghast as Adelaide crashed to their second-heaviest home loss in history, and his worst as a head coach.
"We were embarrassed on our home deck. An unacceptable performance right across the board," he said.
"It was just an insipid performance by our footy club."
• Geelong downed Greater Western Sydney by 59 points to claim top spot on the ladder at the halfway point of their AFL season, but coach Chris Scott feels his side's current form does not even warrant a place in the top four.
The Cats overcame a slow start and third-quarter scare to kick 10 of the game's final 11 goals and post a 24.13 (157) to 15.8 (98) victory over cellar dwellers GWS at Skoda Stadium on Saturday.
It was Geelong's 10th win from 11 matches, with the club's only blemish before their mid-season bye being a one-goal loss to Collingwood in round eight.

BoBA 2013 ISML Predictions: Ruby Match Day 2

ARENA 01: [Aoyama Nanami] Takanashi Tōka : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 02: Sanka Rea [Momo Belia Deviluke] : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 03: [Nibutani Shinka] Ayano Keiko (Silica) : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 04: [Kirigaya Suguha] Kirishima Shōko : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 05: [Kashiwazaki Sena] Kanzaki H. Aria : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 06: [Kuroyukihime] Natsume Rin : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 07: [Yui] Nōmi Kudryavka : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 08: [Yuzuriha Inori] Honma Meiko : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 09: [Takanashi Rikka] Makise Kurisu : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 10: [Shirakiin Ririchiyo] Akemi Homura : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 11: [Chitanda Eru] Araragi Tsukihi : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 12: Yūki Mikan [Yūki Asuna] : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 13: Tōwa Erio [Shiina Mashiro] : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 14: [Hasegawa Kobato] Oshino Shinobu : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 15: [Mikazuki Yozora] Roromiya Karuta : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 16: Misaki Mei [Konoe Subaru] : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 17: Araragi Karen [Kotegawa Yui] : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 18: Kurasaki Fūko (Sky Raker) [Nyarlathotep] : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 19: [Ogiue Chika, Kondō Mayuka] Kurashita Tsukimi, Nakahara Sunako : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Under

ARENA 20: [Suzumiya Haruhi] Konjiki no Yami : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 21: Nymph [Louise Vallière]: by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 22: [Saber] Hirasawa Yui : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 23: [Shana] Illyasviel von Einzbern : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 24: [Akiyama Mio] C.C. : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 25: [Gokō Ruri (Kuroneko)] Nagato Yuki : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 26: [Yui-nyan] Sengoku Nadeko : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 27: [Kōsaka Kirino] Last Order : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 28: [Eucliwood Hellscythe] Senjōgahara Hitagi : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 29: [Charlotte Dunois] Izumi Konata : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 30: [Misaka Mikoto] Fujibayashi Kyō : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 31: Katsura Hinagiku [Tachibana Kanade] : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 32: Sakagami Tomoyo [Aisaka Taiga] : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 33: [Nakano Azusa] Kuroi Mato : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 34: [Nakamura Yuri] Furukawa Nagisa : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 35: [Tōsaka Rin] Hirasawa Ui : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 36: Victorique de Blois [Aragaki Ayase] : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over

ARENA 37: [Holo] Iwasawa Masami : by >=600
Over/Under: 7000
Over