|Tunisia||0 - 2||Japan|
|(HT: 0 - 0)|
Osaka Nagai Stadium
Gilles Veissiere (FRA)
|1||14 Jun 2002||Riadh Bouazizi||Yellow Card||First Half||21||H|
|2||14 Jun 2002||Junichi Inamoto||Player Out||Second Half||1||A|
|3||14 Jun 2002||Daisuke Ichikawa||Substitute In||Second Half||1||A|
|4||14 Jun 2002||Atsushi Yanagisawa||Player Out||Second Half||1||A|
|5||14 Jun 2002||Hiroaki Morishima||Substitute In||Second Half||1||A|
|6||14 Jun 2002||Mourad Melki||Player Out||Second Half||1||H|
|7||14 Jun 2002||Zoubeir Baya||Substitute In||Second Half||1||H|
|8||14 Jun 2002||Hiroaki Morishima||Goal||Second Half||3||A|
|9||14 Jun 2002||Jose Clayton||Player Out||Second Half||16||H|
|10||14 Jun 2002||Imed Mhedhebi||Substitute In||Second Half||16||H|
|11||14 Jun 2002||Hidetoshi Nakata||Goal||Second Half||30||A|
|12||14 Jun 2002||Raouf Bouzaiene||Player Out||Second Half||33||H|
|13||14 Jun 2002||Ali Zitouni||Substitute In||Second Half||33||H|
|14||14 Jun 2002||Riadh Bouazizi||Yellow Card||Second Half||36||H|
|15||14 Jun 2002||Hidetoshi Nakata||Player Out||Second Half||39||A|
|16||14 Jun 2002||Mitsuo Ogasawara||Substitute In||Second Half||39||A|
|Hosts Japan reached the second round of the World Cup for the first time in their history, clinching top spot in Group H with a stylish 2-0 victory over Tunisia. Second half goals from Hiroaki Morishima and Japanese football's Italy-based golden boy Hidetoshi Nakata handed French coach Philippe Troussier's side a deserved three points - and means they will avoid mighty Brazil in the last 16.
Japan now play Group C runners-up Turkey next Tuesday in the second round.
"We' ll go into that match with a lot of confidence, we don't have suspensions, and we're creating a dynamic, a momentum," said a delighted Troussier, who took over in 1998 after Japan's winless World Cup debut.
"I'm very, very proud of the players performance today. The side merits it. It's the fruit of all our work and above all we are very, very happy.
"It's been a great journey for us. We are not tired, we are well in the hunt, we are sure of ourselves and we are ready for the next match."
Japan had started the 2002 tournament desperate to avoid the ignominy of being the first host side to fail to reach the second round. But after a draw with Belgium and a win over Russia they were put firmly on course. And against Tunisia, Japanese progression into the next round was rarely in doubt.
"Japanese football doesn't get the respect it deserves, especially in Europe," Troussier said. "But we've always tried to play good football, ambitious football, attacking football and that's what won us the match today. I'm proud of the boys," Troussier said.
Tunisia's coach Ammar Souayeh said he had opted for a cautious approach as he had expected the Japanese to attack from the start.
"The goal early in the second-half knocked us out and we found it hard to recover from that blow," he said.
"A lack of goals (1 in 3 matches) is Tunisian football's weakness but we mustn't forget that despite two defeats we have performed better than in the African Nations Cup earlier this year," he added
An inspired double substitution by Troussier at half-time after a low key opening 45 minutes proved crucial, the Frenchman bringing on lively striker Morishima and right winger Daisuke Ichikawa. Ichikawa helped create the first goal, pressuring Tunisia's defence into a blunder to allow Morishima the chance to blast past goalkeeper Ali Boumnijel on 48 minutes. Morishima came close to doubling his tally soon afterwards, directing a superb diving header past Boumnijel only to see it bounce back off the inside of the post. Tunisia, needing a two-goal win to have any chance of going through, attempted to get back in the game but were frustrated by the slick passing of the Japanese midfield. Again the hosts came close to scoring, Feyenoord star Shinji Ono's downward header on 65 minutes desperately saved by Boumnijel. Then on 75 minutes Nakata made the game safe after another fine piece of work down the right by substitute Ichikawa. The 22-year-old Shimizu S-Pulse player tormented his marker and floated in a cross to Nakata whose diving header flew into the Tunisian net.
In the first half Tunisia's defence managed to keep Japan at bay for the opening 20 minutes, the hosts' only chance a long-range effort from Takayuki Suzuki that sailed over the bar. Japan's best chance came just over the half hour mark. Atsushi Yanagisawa, eventually replaced by Morishima at the break, was given a rare amount of room by the Tunisian defence and was able to drill a low shot to test Boumnijel. Tunisia, unable to generate any sort of momentum, had a single attempt on goal, striker Ziad Jaziri blasting wide shortly before half-time. The north Africans had Riadh Bouazizi booked midway through the half after clipping Yanagisawa near the halfway line. Japan were given a scare in the dying moments of the half when midfielder Kazuyuki Toda brought down Tunisia's Hatem Trabelsi in the penalty area. Replays suggested there was contact, but French referee Gilles Veissiere waved away Tunisian appeals.
(courtesy of dailysoccer)
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Page created by Christakis Ioannou on 14 June 2002 15:35:23.