Japan at the FIFA World Cup

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The FIFA World Cup, sometimes called the Football World Cup or the Soccer World Cup, but usually referred to simply as the World Cup, is an international association football competition contested by the men's national teams of the members of Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the sport's global governing body. The championship has been awarded every four years since the first tournament in 1930, except in 1942 and 1946, due to World War II.

The tournament consists of two parts, the qualification phase and the final phase (officially called the World Cup Finals). The qualification phase, which currently take place over the three years preceding the Finals, is used to determine which teams qualify for the Finals. The current format of the Finals involves 32 teams competing for the title, at venues within the host nation (or nations) over a period of about a month. The World Cup Finals is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world, with an estimated 715.1 million people watching the 2006 tournament final.

Japan have appeared in the finals of the FIFA World Cup on six occasions, the first being in 1998 where they lost all three group games and finished in 31st position. Masashi Nakayama scored Japan's first ever goal in a World Cup Finals against Jamaica on 26 June 1998 in a 2-1 defeat.[1] Keisuke Honda becomes the first Japanese player to score in three world cups: 2010, 2014, 2018.[2]

They made their sixth appearance at the finals in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.[3][4] Japan became the first ever Asian nation to beat a side from South America, after they won 2-1 against Colombia in the group stage. The team made it to the Round of 16 (the first knock-out round) but lost to Belgium, 3-2.

FIFA World Cup record[edit]

FIFA World Cup finals record Qualifications record
Hosts / Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA GP W D L GS GA
Uruguay 1930 Did not enter
Italy 1934
France 1938 Withdrew
Brazil 1950 Suspended from FIFA
Switzerland 1954 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 3 7
Sweden 1958 Did not enter
Chile 1962 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 1 4
England 1966 Did not enter
Mexico 1970 Did not qualify 4 0 2 2 4 8
West Germany 1974 4 1 0 3 5 4
Argentina 1978 4 0 1 3 0 5
Spain 1982 4 2 0 2 4 2
Mexico 1986 8 5 1 2 15 5
Italy 1990 6 2 3 1 7 3
United States 1994 13 9 3 1 35 6
France 1998 Group stage 31st 3 0 0 3 1 4 15 9 5 1 51 12
South KoreaJapan 2002 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 5 3
Germany 2006 Group stage 28th 3 0 1 2 2 7 12 11 0 1 25 5
South Africa 2010 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 4 2 14 8 4 2 23 9
Brazil 2014 Group Stage 29th 3 0 1 2 2 6 14 8 3 3 30 8
Russia 2018 Round of 16 15th 4 1 1 2 6 7 18 13 3 2 44 7
Qatar 2022 To be determined
Total 6/21 9th 17 4 4 9 20 29 120 68 26 26 247 85

By match[edit]

World Cup Round Opponent Score Result Scorers
1998 Group Stage  Argentina 0–1 L
 Croatia 0–1 L
 Jamaica 1–2 L Nakayama
2002 Group Stage  Belgium 2–2 D Suzuki, Inamoto
 Russia 1–0 W Inamoto
 Tunisia 2–0 W Morishima, H. Nakata
Round of 16  Turkey 0–1 L
2006 Group Stage  Australia 1–3 L Nakamura
 Croatia 0–0 D
 Brazil 1–4 L Tamada
2010 Group Stage  Cameroon 1–0 W Honda
 Netherlands 0–1 L
 Denmark 3–1 W Honda, Endō, Okazaki
Round of 16  Paraguay 0–0 (a.e.t.), 3–5 (p) D
2014 Group Stage  Ivory Coast 1–2 L Honda
 Greece 0–0 D
 Colombia 1–4 L Okazaki
2018 Group Stage  Colombia 2–1 W Kagawa , Ōsako
 Senegal 2–2 D Inui, Honda
 Poland 0–1 L
Round of 16  Belgium 2–3 L Haraguchi, Inui

Record Players[edit]

Goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima played through Japan's eleven World Cup matches from 2010 to 2018.
Keisuke Honda is Japan's top scorer in World Cup history with four goals in three tournaments.
No. Name Matches World Cups
1 Makoto Hasebe 11 2010, 2014 and 2018
Eiji Kawashima 11 2010, 2014 and 2018
Yuto Nagatomo 11 2010, 2014 and 2018
4 Hidetoshi Nakata 10 1998, 2002 and 2006
Shinji Okazaki 10 2010, 2014 and 2018
Keisuke Honda 10 2010, 2014 and 2018
7 Junichi Inamoto 8 2002, 2006 and 2010
8 Yuji Nakazawa 7 2006 and 2010
Yoshito Ōkubo 7 2010 and 2014
Maya Yoshida 7 2014 and 2018

Top Goalscorers[edit]

No. Name Goals World Cups
1 Keisuke Honda 4 2010 (2), 2014 (1), and 2018 (1)
2 Junichi Inamoto 2 2002
Shinji Okazaki 2 2010 and 2014
Takashi Inui 2 2018

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2-1 victory over Japan lifts the Reggae Boyz". Sports Illustrated. 19 September 1998. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  2. ^ "Super sub Honda makes history with goal against Senegal". Kyodo News. 25 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Zaccheroni: It could be better, but it could be worse too". FIFA.com. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 14 January 2014.
  4. ^ "Your guide to Group C with Colombia, Ivory Coast, Greece and Japan". Daily Mail. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 15 January 2014.

External links[edit]