JAPAN Japan World Cup FRANCE 98 JAPAN

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Japan have already qualified for the next World Cup in 2002, as hosts with South Korea, but this is their first time in the finals.

Japan missed the plane to US 94, due to a late Iraqi equaliser, which enabled South Korea to take their place.

Their professional league only started in 1993, yet they managed to lure Gary Linneker and a handful of Brazilians with a strong Yen; and plenty of it.

Japan the country.

Official Squad:

Goalkeepers:

1 Nobuyuki KOJIMA (Bellmare Hiratsuuka)
20 Yoshikatsu KAWAGUCHI (Yokohama Marinos)
21 Seigo NARAZAKI (Yokohama Flugels)

Defenders:

4 Masami IHARA (Yokohama Marinos)
5 Norio OMURA (Yokohama Marinos)
17 Yutaka AKITA (Kashima Antlers)
3 Naoki SOMA (Kashima Antlers)
2 Akira NARAHASHI (Kashima Antlers)
16 Toshihide SAITO (Shimizu S-Pulse)
19 Eisuke NAKANISHI (JEF United Ichihara)

Midfielders:

6 Motohiro YAMAGUCHI (Yokohama Flugels)
15 Hiroaki MORISHIMA (Cerezo Osaka)
10 Hiroshi NANAMI (Jubilo Iwata)
13 Toshihiro HATTORI (Jubilo Iwata)
7 Teruyoshi ITO (Shimizu S-Pulse)
22 Takashi HIRANO (Nagoya Grampus Eight)
8 Hidetoshi NAKATA (Bellmare Hiratsuka)
11 Shinji ONO (Urawa Red Diamonds)

Strikers:

9 Masashi NAKAYAMA (Jubilo Iwata)
12 Wagner LOPES (Bellmare Hiratsuka)
14 Masayuki OKANO (Urawa Red Diamonds)
18 Shoji JO (Yokohama Marinos)

Coached by Takeshi OKADA

Fixtures:
First Round

14th June vs. Argentina
(0-1)
(Toulouse)

20th June vs. Croatia
(0-1)
(Nantes)

26th June vs. Jamaica
(1-2)
(Lyon)

Match Reports.

Group Tables.


Japan didn't get a point in their first World Cup finals, but Nakayama certainly raised a cheer in Tokyo when he volleyed home Japan's first World Cup finals goal, in their last game against Jamaica.


Japan Links.

(Japan Football Association)