Mascot JapanJAPAN 1-0 ARGENTINA, Saitama, 08/10/10
Scorer: Okazaki (18)

Japan are the new Unofficial Football World Champions! Shinji Okazaki was the hero of the day, netting the game’s only goal from a rebound after 18 minutes. It’s the very first time Japan has held the UFWC title.

Argentina went into the match as UFWC champions and clear favourites, having comprehensively beaten FIFA champs Spain 4-1 last month. It was Japan’s 6th UFWC title match, and they’d lost all 5 previous ones.

Argentina lined up with Carlos Tevez, Diego Milito and Lionel Messi up front. The selection of the recently-injured Messi guaranteed Argentina a $200,000 bonus from the Japanese football association.

And Messi was probably the pick of Argentina’s players in a mediocre side. That’s not to downplay the achievement of Japan, who played an up-tempo counter-attacking game under new coach Alberto Zaccheroni. For Argentina caretaker coach Sergio Batista this hardly helped his chances of taking the job on a permanent basis.

So Japan have halted the short reign of Argentina to take the Unofficial Football World Championships title. Interestingly, that means that the UFWC will now be contested at the Asian Cup in January.

But we don’t have to wait anything like that long for the next UFWC title match. Japan will defend their unofficial title in South Korea on Tuesday. We’ll have more on that match soon.

About Paul Brown

Paul is a freelance journalist and author. He created the UFWC in 2003, and subsequently wrote the Unofficial Football World Champions book. He can be found on Twitter @paulbrownUK.

6 thoughts on “Japan 1-0 Argentina

  1. Rune

    Japan has only played five title matches before this one. Yhey have however conceded 11 goals.

  2. argentina4ever!

    I thought it was going to be an easy match, but it seems that all the managment problems the AFA is having are affecting the play… thats sad, and somehow very argentinian…

  3. from Japan

    i didn’t know the game was title match, so happy to hear we are the champion!!
    Now we must defend the belt thorough the match against S.Korea, Asian-Cup, and finally Argentine may have a chance to challenge us at Copa-America.

  4. joe

    Maybe I’m wrong but I’m pretty sure this wasn’t Japan’s 12th title match it was only their 6th.

    14/06/1998 ARGENTINA 1-0 JAPAN Toulouse WC
    24/03/2001 FRANCE 5- 0 JAPAN FR St Denis
    25/04/2001 SPAIN 1- 0 JAPAN FR Cordoba
    05/09/2009 NETHERLANDS 3-0 JAPAN FR Enschede
    19/06/2010 NETHERLANDS 1-0 JAPAN WC Durban
    8/10/2010 JAPAN 1-0 ARGENTINA FR Saitama

    Where are the other 6?

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