Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 5th 2013 Contents A50
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, June 5, 2013
made sure Japan became the first
team to qualify for the 2014 World
Cup by calmly converting a stop-
page-time penalty yesterday to
secure a 1-1 draw against Aus-
Tommy Oar had given Australia
a 1-0 lead in the 82nd minute with
a lob over Japan goalkeeper Eiji
Kawasahima but a handball by
Matthew McKay in the last minute
of regulation set up the penalty
for Honda, who beat Australia
goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer with
a left-footed shot into the top of
Japan needed at least a point to
clinch a spot in next year s World
Cup in Brazil from Group B in
"I have achieved one of the goals
I was hired for," Japan coach Alber-
to Zaccheroni said. "But just qual-
ifying is not enough. We have a
very strong commitment to playing
well so we will aim even higher in
Honda had missed Japan s last
two matches---both defeats---but
was his team s best player on Tues-
day, even before the goal that saved
Japan having to wait for the result
of a later match between Oman
and Iraq to see if it would qual-
"Honda is a special player," Zac-
cheroni said. "He has two impor-
tant qualities: he s strong physically
and he s strong mentally. That was
his first full 90-minute game since
November and he was spectacu-
Both teams had great scoring
chances in the first half, but
Schwarzer got his right hand up
to block Shinji Kagawa s shot from
Later, Brett Holman fed a
through ball to Robbie Kruse who
fired a right-footed shot that
Kawashima knocked down with
an outstretched arm.
Japan, eager to secure qualifi-
cation at home, started the second
half strong with Kagawa grazing
the crossbar with an angled shot
in the 59th minute.
Just when the match looked set
to finish in a goalless draw, Oar
silenced the crowd of 62,172 when
he beat a Japanese defender on the
wing and sent a lob toward the
net that dipped inside the bar and
past the flailing arm of Kawashima.
Schwarzer then stopped Yuto
Nagatomo s shot from close range
in the 80th minute before Oar put
the visitors ahead minutes later.
Australia, bidding for a third
straight World Cup appearance, is
second in Group B with seven
points with two matches remain-
ing. The first two spots earn auto-
matic berths in Brazil. (AP)
NEW YORK---With Pele looking
on, the revived New York Cosmos
signed a shirt sponsorship contract
with Emirates Airline as the team
prepares to play in the second-
tier North American Soccer
League this summer.
The 72-year-old Brazilian great,
the team s honorary president,
attended a news conference in
Manhattan. Featuring stars such as
Pele, Franz Beckenbauer and Giorgio
Chinaglia, the Cosmos played in
the old NASL from 1971-84 and
folded in 1985.
The relaunched team is run by
CEO Seamus O Brien.
It starts play at Shuart Stadium
in Hempstead on Long Island on
August 3 against Fort Lauderdale.
The Cosmos hope to build a
US$400 million, 25,000-seat sta-
dium at Belmont Park racetrack.
Emirates Air also is the shirt
sponsor of Arsenal, AC Milan,
Hamburg, Paris Saint-Germain and,
starting next season, Real Madrid.
Andros Townsend has been
banned from football for four
months for violating betting
The Football Association
announced the sanction yes-
terday, saying three months of
the ban have been suspended
until July 2016.
The sanction was backdated
to May 23 when Townsend
withdrew from the England
The FA says the player was
also fined £18,000 ($27,000).
Townsend was charged with
breaches "in relation to a num-
ber of betting offenses."
There was no suggestion the
charge related to match-fixing.
Players are prohibited from
betting on matches in compe-
titions they are involved in or
have any influence over.
Townsend spent the second
half of last season on loan at
Queens Park Rangers, which
was relegated to the second
Japan becomes first team
to reach 2014 World Cup
Cosmos sign shirt sponsorship with Emirates
Tottenham winger gets four-month ban
Japan's Shinji Kagawa, second right, Keisuke Honda, second left, Yuto Nagatomo, centre, with teammates
celebrate after their 1-1 draw with Australia during their Asian zone Group B qualifying soccer match for the
2014 World Cup in Saitama, near Tokyo, yesterday. Japan became the first team to reach 2014 World Cup.
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