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November 17, 2005

Football: Japan 1 Angola 0

Wow...what a great ending! Japan scored in the 90th minute with the only goal of the match. Sixty seconds later it was all over and Japan walked away with a win. It was a friendly match, but as this is the last time that the team will play together in 2005, it was good to end on a high note.

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The stadium was absolutely packed (as should be expected) and the organisers had a huge surprise as Matsuura Aya, a famous singer, belted out the national anthem. A Japanese man sang the Angolan anthem, which seemed a bit odd until I was told there were only 11 Angolans living in Tokyo and only 18 in all of Japan! So, I guess the Angolan population more than doubled when the team arrived here.

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That is Aya in the picture to the left. We were too far away for an actual picture, but they showed here on the video screen, which made her close enough. Actually, the first time I went to the national stadium was to watch Japan play Belgium in one of its world cup matches on that very same screen...they were actually in Nagoya or something. It was amazingly crowded that day too.

I should mention something about the game. Japan had more than a few chances early on but hit the woodwork...it easily could have been 2-0 at halftime. The ball just would not go in. And Angola was playing a cautious game, keeping their back five near midfield even when on the attack. They never really threatened. And it looked like it would end 0-0 until Matsui headed the ball in at the 90th minute.

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Amazing...as you can see, we were really happy afterwards. That is my colleague Urasaki-san...and again with me. Kaz was also there, but he was not nearly as exuberant. And Ryo joined us for the second half, but he watched from the tunnel where it was warmer!

Also Australia beat Uruguay and will be going to Germany next summer. I wanted to watch that match but could not get away from work for the 530pm start time. How cool will that be if they are drawn into the same group as England? Should be interesting...we'll know in December.

Posted by Kirk on November 17, 2005 12:15 AM


Hey! Sounds great! My dad is a great football fan:D!!!! Yeah! BTW, did you already buy new coffee machine;)??
The post of Takaozan is interesting:D! One of my mom's friends is photographer of animals and he always take wild Japanese monkeys! His photos are greattttttttttttttt:) His name is Mr. Egawa.

Posted by: haruna at November 18, 2005 12:51 PM

Was it fun.... Well looked 2 me ;-) PEACE

Posted by: Quz Boss at November 18, 2005 01:05 PM

Quz Boss
It was a lot of fun! But I was not so happy at work the next morning.

Hi!! There is so many people watching when Japan plays football. It is very cool...

No coffeemaker yet (i have to go to tully's everyday!), but i hope to have one this weekend.

takao-san is a really nice place and easy to get to from tokyo. but i did not get any good monkey pictures. maybe i will have to go AGAIN

Posted by: kirk at November 18, 2005 07:51 PM