Sunday, June 27, 2010

World Cup Update

By Anthony Vasquez

The group stage has ended in the World Cup 2010. The round of 16 has started and both South Korea and Japan qualified.

Japan will face Paraguay on Tuesday. South Korea qualified, but lost to Uruguay 2-1 on Saturday.

South Korea placed second in Group B. After a 2-0 win over Greece two weeks ago, the team fell to Argentina 4-1. In their last match of group play, South Korea tied with Nigeria 2-2.

Last Saturday in Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth, South Korea and Uruguay competed for a spot in the quarter finals. Luis Suarez scored both of Uruguay’s goals, one in the 8th minute and another in the 80th. Prior to Suarez’s goal, South Korea’s Lee Chung Yong scored in the 68th minute to tie the game 1-1. Suarez’s second goal put Uruguay up for good. Uruguay moves on to face Ghana, which defeated the United States also on Saturday, 2-1 with the winning goal in overtime.

A quote from South Korea’s coach, Huh Jung-Moo, read in part:

Uruguay were just fortunate enough to get those goals. We played very well but we ought to have played a bit more intelligently. Our players never gave in and they never stopped trying to overcome the obstacles in front of them.
-- Quoted from

Click here to read more quotes

Japan placed second in Group E. It won its opener against Cameroon 1-0. In its second game, the Netherlands won 1-0. Last Thursday, Japan defeated Denmark 3-1. If Japan wins on Tuesday in Pretoria, it will be the first time that the team is in the quarter finals. The team played well against Denmark and if it keeps up that level of play, there’s a chance for an upset.

Not to be forgotten, North Korea lost its three games in group play. First came a 2-1 loss to a Brazilian team that struggled with the North Korean defense. Next came Portugal's onslaught of goals, which ended in a 7-0 rout. This was the so-called Group of Death, afterall. North Korea, if only slightly, redeemed itself by losing 3-0 to Ivory Coast.

With Australia having placed last in its group, Japan is the sole representative from the Asian region. Their Tuesday match against Paraguay starts at 4:00 p.m. in South Africa, 11:00 p.m. in Japan, and 7:00 a.m. Pacific in the United States.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

South Korea's World Cup 2010 song

By Anthony Vasquez

In a few hours South Korea will take on one of the world’s soccer powerhouses: Argentina. On the field, South Korea has the chance to show that it is ready to compete in the higher rounds of the competition. But off the field, a South Korean pop group has already shown that their World Cup-themed song has sticking power.

There are two big theme songs for this tournament. Shaqira’s “Waka Waka” is the official one (the link is for the English version). There is also K Naan’s “Wavin’ Flag.” But Super Junior, a very popular group in South Korea has their own song: “Victory Korea.”

World Cup fever and South Korean pop have met. In an ESPN online poll of 11 World Cup-themed songs from the United States, England, Germany, Australia and South Africa, this song garnered more than 90 percent of the vote. More than 13,000 people voted.

Below is the music video from YouTube. Here is a link to an article with links to the songs.

World Cup inspires global music surge
By Matthew Glenesk
June 10, 2010

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

North Korea scores, still loses to Brazil

By Anthony Vasquez

The last time the North Korean national team played in the World Cup was in 1966 in England. Earlier today, they played Brazil and lost 2-1 in Johannesburg.

After a scoreless first half in which Brazil had its chances to make some goals, the North Korean defense proved itself a legitimate rival to the five-time World Cup champion. According to the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, Brazil was 1st and North Korea was 105th. A draw with Brazil would have made big news indeed.

It was in the 55th minute, however, that Maicon scored Brazil’s first. In the 72nd minute, Elano added to the lead, making it 2-0. Though it appeared that Brazil might score again, it was not to be. In the 89th minute, North Korea’s Ji Yun-Nam rushed toward the Brazilian goal and scored.

The official attendance of the game was 54,331. ESPN Soccernet's Leander Schaerlaeckens reported that wind chills during the night game were in the 20s.

North Korea’s next game is against Portugal on Monday June 21 in Cape Town. Kick off is at 1:30 p.m., 8:30 p.m. in North Korea, and 4:30 a.m. Pacific in the United States.


The Christian Science Monitor
Brazil vs. North Korea: Kim Jong Il's soccer soldiers hold firm, deny Brazil goal fest
By Andrew Downie
June 15, 2010
Brazil - Korea DPR
June 15, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Japan defeats Cameroon in World Cup

By Anthony Vasquez

Earlier today in Johannesburg, Japan defeated Cameroon 1-0 boosting the team’s chances of advancing to the next round of the World Cup 2010.

Keisuke Honda scored the games only goal in the 39th minute. Cameroon had several chances to score, including a Stephane Mbia kick to the crossbar late in the game. With the victory, Japan earned its first win in a World Cup tournament outside of Japan. Takeshi Okada, Japan’s coach, seemed unimpressed with the way his team played.

I think we’ll need to be more aggressive in the future, though. This match is only our preparation for the second one and we still need to improve. I don’t think it was a great success – what’s important is the next game.
-- Quoted from, june 14, 2010

Steven Bloomfield, contributor for The Christian Science Monitor, wrote of the match, “The standard of many of the early games has not been great, but for 45 minutes this Group E encounter between Japan and Cameroon threatened to plumb new depths.”

Japan’s next opponent is the Netherlands, which defeated Denmark 2-0 today. The Netherlands, one of the best teams in the world, will put Japan to the test.

The game is next Saturday in Durban. Kick off is at 1:30 p.m. local time, 8:30 p.m. in Japan, and 4:30 a.m. Pacific in the United States.

Japan - Cameroon - the matches of 2010 World Cup South Africa
June 14, 2010
This page contains quotes from the coaches of each team as well as from the players.

The Christian Science Monitor
Japan vs. Cameroon: Japan tames the Indomitable Lions, 1-0
By Steve Bloomfield
June 14, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

In World Cup, South Korea sits atop Group B

By Anthony Vasquez

South Korea defeated Greece 2-0 in its first game of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa on Saturday.

Lee Jung-Soo scored seven minutes into the game in Nelson Mandela Bay/Port Elizabeth. Seven minutes into the second half, captain park Ji-Sung scored. Greece, now down by two goals, fought hard to come back, but in the end did not score. In Seoul, up to 50,000 people gathered in the city hall plaza to watch the game on giant television screens.

“It’s still too early to say that the Korea of 2002 are back, but what’s certain is that we were able to use our speed to maximum advantage,” Lee “We expected the Greeks to be slow. We knew that even if they were bigger and more physical than us, we had to use our speed as our principal strength.”

In the 2002 World Cup which South Korea and Japan jointly hosted, South Korea finished fourth in the tournament after losing 3-2 to Turkey. In the Germany 2006 World Cup, South Korea did not make it beyond the first round.

South Korea’s next match is on Thursday June 17 against Argentina. Argentina, which won its opener on Saturday against Nigeria 1-0, is second in Group B because of South Korea’s goal advantage. Argentina is a formidable opponent.

Kick off in Johannesburg is at 1:30 p.m. local time, 8:30 p.m. in South Korea, and 4:30 a.m. Pacific in the United States. ESPN will broadcast in English, will have a Korean language stream, and Univision will broadcast in Spanish.


Agence France-Press by way of
Koreans celebrate victory in style
June 13, 2010
Korea Rrepublic - Greece - the matches of 2010 World Cup South Africa
June 12, 2010
Injection of pace drives Korea Republic
June 12, 2010

Associated Press by way of
2010 World Cup Live Coverage Expands on the Web, Cell Phones
By Jake Coyle and Sangwon Yoon
june 9, 2010