Japan were awarded a dubious penalty and Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon was booked for the painfully obvious non-foul pictured above. Keisuke Honda then scored from the penalty spot to give Japan a surprising 1-0 lead in the 21st minute and then Shinji Kagawa made it 2-0 in the 33rd minute with a great goal of his own. Italy eventually got a goal back with a Daniele De Rossi header off a corner kick in the 41st minute. But Buffon did not passively accept the referee decision that started this chain of events...Read More »from Gigi Buffon’s wonderfully animated reaction to Japan’s dubious penalty
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Ahead of Japan's Confederations Cup Group A match against Italy, ESPN helpfully highlighted three stand-out players for the Asian Cup winners. Unfortunately, they spelled Shinji Kagawa's name as "Kawawa" in the corresponding graphic. One might think that making 26 appearances for Manchester United last season would be enough to achieve adequate name recognition to avoid such a mix-up, but apparently not.
Of course, as karmic payback for highlighting this mistake, I will probably inadvertently type out his name as "Benji Kahaha" at least once next season.Read More »from ESPN highlight Japan star ‘Shinji Kawawa’ during Confederations Cup coverage
After scoring just three minutes into Brazil's first Confederations Cup group-stage match against Japan, Neymar decided to give Mexico a fighting chance and waited all the way until the ninth minute of the match to score his second goal of the tournament. Mexico's Francisco Rodriguez attempted to head clear a cross in the box, but he ended up delivering it right to Neymar, who put it past keeper Jose Corona without hesitation.
The goal added to an already intense atmosphere with thousands of Brazilians protesting outside the stadium. If the way Neymar has dealt with the pressure so far in this tournament is any indication, his first season with Barcelona should be entertaining. And hopefully surrounded by less police brutality.
UPDATE: Brazil won 2-0 after Neymar nutmegged a defender and set up Jo in the third minute of injury time. I think we have a frontrunner for the tournament's Golden Boot already.Read More »from Neymar scores with lovely volley nine minutes into match against Mexico
David Beckham is back in China to resume his duties as the country's "global football ambassador" and it seems he's learned a few lessons from his past experiences in similar positions. For one thing, he isn't taking free kicks while wearing a suit anymore. And he's also figured out how to keep school kids from exposing his age-ravaged defending.
Playing against a group of Chinese children in front of a large crowd, Beckham made sure the kid with the ball didn't get past him by picking him up, putting him to one side and then taking the ball for himself (clearly this is a move that Zlatan Ibrahimovic taught him at PSG). Beckham was not booked for the clear foul.
This has been the Dirty Tackle of the Day: a chronicling of unfortunate events.Read More »from DTotD: David Beckham uses dirty tactics while playing against Chinese kids, doesn’t get booked
Tuesday evening's AFC World Cup qualifier between South Korea and Iran ended with visiting Iran manager Carlos Queiroz pumping his fists, aggressively shouting and offering what a South Korean official called an "obscene gesture" at the rival bench, while locals showered the field with plastic water bottles and drink cans.
Thanks to a bad-tempered eight-month build-up, however, this match was never destined to be a genteel affair.
South Korea lost a fiesty qualifier to Iran in Tehran last October, but manager Choi Kang-Hee complained about extensive visa problems and poor training facilities on their trip. Subsequently, he promised to "make life painful" for Iran by offering a similar level of hospitality in the return fixture.
Carlos Queiroz called for an apology, but instead Kang-Hee gave the kind of response that sounds like it should have been given from an underground lair while stroking a cat:
Read More »from Iran’s Carlos Queiroz offers South Korea coach ‘obscene gesture’ after qualifying for World Cup
It looks like Iran is nervous. When feeling burdened or chased after, you talk a lot
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