Japan 1-1 Jordan, Doha, 09/01/2011
Scorers: Abdel-Fattah (Jordan), Yoshida (Japan)

It’s FA Cup weekend in England, and although that competition is renowned for providing shocks, this match very nearly caused the biggest upset of them all result. Jordan, who have never before player in a UFWC title match were seconds away from becoming Unofficial Football World Champions after Hasan Abdel-Fattah gave his side an unlikely lead. There was a strong element of luck about the Al-Wahdat midfielder’s deflected goal, which looped up of defender Maya Yoshida. But Yoshida became the hero in injury time, rising highest to head the ball home from a corner and equalise.

Japan have struggled for goals in recent games, and their cause wasn’t helped by a team selection that contained no specialist strikers. Instead, Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni relied on midfielders Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa to get forward. When that failed to pay dividends. Zaccheroni brought on Tadanari Lee at half-time, but by then his side were already a goal behind.

The Jordanian goal came in first half injury time, after good Jordanian work down the right. Abdel-Fattah found space just outside the box, and drilled in a shot that deflected up off Yoshida and looped over keeper Eiji Kawashima and into the net.

Both sides played some good football, and a draw was probably the deserved result, although Japan left it very, very late.

So Japan retain the UFWC title and remain Unofficial Football World Champions. The next UFWC title match will see Japan take on Syria this Thursday 13 January. We’ll be taking a closer look at that match very 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.

One thought on “Japan 1-1 Jordan

  1. Aidan

    Japan’s starting lineup did inlcude a specialist striker – Ryoichi Maeda (despiet being listed as a midfielder on ESPNSoccernet I saw) is a striker, and has been consistently the top Japanese scorer in the J-League over the last few seasons. He hasn’t really made the step up to the national team though, but has had very few opportunities.

    Shinji Okazaki is the more experienced internationally, but even when he came on he played wide on the left, with Tadinari Lee as the striker having replaced Maeda. But it’s not accurate to say that Japan started without any strikers (although he played so poorly they may as well have done).

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Okazaki start against Syria though.

    Delighted that Japan remain UFWC champions, although they still only have 1 official win to their name after two draws.

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