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World Cup 2011 Austria

Group AInnsbruck
7/8USAAustralia61-0
7/8GermanyMexico15-22
7/10MexicoAustralia65-0
7/10GermanyUSA7-48
7/12AustraliaGermany20-30
7/12USAMexico17-7
TeamWLTPFPAPts
USA300126146
Mexico21094324
Germany12052902
Australia030201560
Group BGraz
7/9AustriaJapan6-24
7/9FranceCanada10-45
7/11JapanFrance35-10
7/11CanadaAustria36-14
7/13JapanCanada27-31
7/13AustriaFrance16-24
TeamWLTPFPAPts
Canada300112516
Japan21086474
France12044962
Austria03036840
FinalsVienna
7th Place
7/15AustraliaAustria10-48
5th Place
7/16GermanyFrance21-17
Bronze Medal Game
7/15MexicoJapan14-17
Gold Medal Game
7/16USACanada50-7

World Cup 2011 Data
All-Tournament Team
Roster Japan

Statistics and Play-by-Plays:
USA vs Australia
Germany vs Mexico
Austria vs Japan
France vs Canada
Mexico vs Australia
Germany vs USA
Japan vs France
Canada vs Austria
Australia vs Germany
USA vs Mexico
Japan vs Canada
Austria vs France
Australia vs Austria
Mexico vs Japan
Germany vs France
USA vs Canada

(Source: IFAF)

Japan finishes third at World Cup

(July 15, 2011) - In the end Team Japan head coach Kiyoyuki Mori was able to overcome the frustration of missing the title game and could enjoy finishing third at this year's World Cup in Austria after his team defeated Mexico 17-14 in the bronze medal game in Vienna. "Mexico is a tough team. I knew that it would be a close game, and to tell you the truth I didn't have a lot of confidence about beating Mexico," Mori said. Maybe he was not sure of what kind of performance he could expect from his team. WR Naoki Maeda who scored the touchdown that ultimately decided the game admitted that it took some time before all the players overcame their disappointment after a four point loss to Canada in the last game of group play. "Since we lost against Canada two days ago we were pretty disappointed because we wanted to be World Champions. Yesterday some players were not focused for this game but we talked to each and came out as one team. We committed to winning this game and the bronze medal", Maeda, Team Japan's MVP of the game, said.
It was another close game between two of the four top teams of this tournament that was not decided until what would have been a 50-yard field goal by K Jose Carlos Maltos as time expired was blocked by DT Mitsunori Kihira. Japan overall was the better team and deserved the win because it was more versatile on offense and for most parts of the game kept the mexican offense in check by stopping the running game. "Our defensive line did a great job. After watching the Mexico-USA game we knew that Mexico was a great team, especially the offensive line is so great. We knew we had to stop the run first. I think that was a key moment of this game", coach Mori explained. Mexico stayed in the game primarily because of the performance of the defense and one great special teams play, an 82-yard kickoff return by Diego Jair Viamontes, to tie the game at 7 following Japan's first touchdown, a 15-yard run through the middle by QB Tetsuo Takata. Japan later in the first half took advantage of an interception by S Takeshi Miyake at the Mexico 45-yard line. Coupled with a 21-yard return and a 15-yard penalty against Mexico the japanese offense started the next possession at the Mexico 12-yard line. After failing to reach a first down or a touchdown Japan settled for a 23-yard field goal to take a 10-7 lead.
In the third quarter it looked like Japan would take complete control of the game. First Japan finished the first possession of the second half, an 8-play 60-yard drive, with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Takata to Maeda to increase the lead to 17-7 when Maeda split a cornerback and a safety on a corner route and caught a perfect pass by Takata in the left corner of the endzone. And on the last play of the third quarter Japan surprised Mexico with an 18-yard pass by QB Shun Sugawara to WR Michihiro Ogawa out of punt formation that took Japan to the Mexico 17-yard line. Unfortunately though a 16-play drive that took almost ten minutes off the clock ended with a missed 21-yard field goal attempt with eight minutes and 36 seconds left to play. That gave new life to the mexican offense that all of a sudden put together an 11-play 80-yard drive that ended with a 10-yard touchdown pass from QB Rodrigo Perez to WR Heriberto Salazar who outjumped two japanese defenders in the right upper corner of the endzone. With all three timeouts left Mexico was able to stop Japan on the ensuing possession and got the ball back at the 20-yard line with 72 seconds left in the game. Helped by a personal foul penalty against Japan the mexican offense reached the Japan 33-yard line before lining up for an attempt to send the game into overtime with a field goal.

Japan celebrates a third place finish after beating Mexico 17-14.
(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: Herbert Kratky)

Canada ends Japan's championship dreams

(July 13, 2011) - Japan's run of consecutive appearances in World Cup championship games ended at three. In probably the most exciting game at this year's World Cup in Austria Canada clinched first place in Group B with a 31-27 win against Japan, sending Japan into the bronze medal game against Mexico. "This was an amazing football game and we got the glory today," Team Canada head coach Larry Haylor said. The key play was the first play of Canada's drive following the touchdown that gave Japan a 27-24 lead with just over five and a half minutes left in the game. On that play QB Michael Faulds was forced out of the pocket. What seemed to be a broken play ended as the highlight of the game when Faulds found RB David Stevens on the sideline. Stevens then ran for 72 yards to Japan's 1-yard line. "I just tried to get open down the sideline and the quarterback did a good job of looking up and seeing me. And I was lucky enough to catch the ball and then instinct just kicked in and I ran hard almost getting to the endzone", Stevens said. On third down RB Matt Walters ran the ball into the endzone with three minutes and 31 seconds left to play. Japan got the ball back twice in the remaining minutes but the first of those possessions ended a couple of plays later with an incomplete pass by QB Tetsuo Takata to WR Michihiro Ogawa on fourth down and the second with an interception when Japan with eight seconds left had only one last shot downfield left.
Canada was a little bit better in the first half and held a 17-14 lead at halftime. Japan had a good start into the second half but twice only settled for short field goals instead of scoring touchdowns. On the first possession of the second half a 12-play 70-yard drive ended with a 23-yard field goal to tie the game at 17. Three plays later CB Koki Kato intercepted a pass at the Canada 38-yard line and returned the ball to the 32. But after a quick first down (14-yard run by RB Yasunori Maruta on second down) Japan was stopped and went for a 29-yard field goal to take a 20-17 lead. Canada answered with an 8-play 73-yard drive that ended with a 3-yard touchdown run by Matt Walters. After the teams had traded punts Japan quickly moved down the field with a couple of good passes by Takata and finished off the 6-play 89-yard drive with a 2-yard touchdown run by RB Tomokazu Sueyoshi for a 27-24 lead.

Japan's defense gave up too many points to Canada's offense.
(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: Herbert Kratky)

Japan beats France

(July 11, 2011) - Team Japan is one win away from reaching the gold medal game at the World Cup in Austria. The two-time world champion defeated France 35-10 and will battle Canada on Wednesday for first place in Group B. The game was already decided by halftime with a 21-0 lead for Team Japan. After a slow start Japan took advantage of two good passes by QB Tetsuo Takata to WR Ken Shimizu on the second possession and scored the first touchdown when RB Yasunori Maruta ran the ball into the endzone over left tackle from five yards out. On the ensuing possession France reached the Japan 33-yard line with a great catch by WR Steve Delaval. But on the next play in heavy rain QB Max Sprauel lost the ball on a pass attempt (loss of ten yards) and on the next play the punter could not handle the ball after a bad snap and Japan took over on downs at the France 29-yard line. Five plays later Maruta increased Japan's lead with his second 5-yard run. The next possession of France followed the same script. Another great catch by Delaval took France to the Japan 41-yard line. On the next play DE Masayoshi Yamanaka knocked the ball out of the hands of RB Dimitri Kiernan and Japan took over on its 36-yard line. In six plays, four of them passes, Japan reached the 8-yard line of France. Following back-to-back pass interference penalties against France WR Michihiro Ogawa caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Takata that gave Japan a 21-0 lead at halftime.
Only once, in the first couple of minutes right after halftime, France was able to play on the same level as Japan. WR Jeremy Larroque took the opening kickoff of the second half and returned the ball to the Japan 35-yard line. France then took advantage of some weaknesses by the japanese defense against short passes and nine plays later Sprauel connected in the endzone with WR Paul Durand for a 6-yard touchdown pass. But any hopes of a comeback by France were killed when Japan capped a 6-play drive with a 3-yard touchdown run on the ensuing japanese possession. A few minutes later France stopped a run by RB Tomokazu Sueyoshi on fourth down and took over at the Japan 36 yard line but could not fully capitalize. The offense only gained eight yards and France settled for a 45-yard field goal that only cut the deficit to 28-10. And after a kickoff return by WR Noriaki Kinoshita to the France 43-yard line QB Minoru Tono threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to WR Naoki Maeda three plays later.

RB Yasunori Maruta scored two touchdowns for Japan.
(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: Herbert Kratky)

Good start for Team Japan

(July 9, 2011) - Team Japan, one of the top contenders to win the title at the fourth World Cup of American Football in Austria, had a good start into the tournament beating host Austria 24-6. Austria took a 3-0 lead and was pretty even in terms of total yards and time of possession but the most experienced team at this World Cup produced enough breaks to kill any hopes on an upset. After a scoresless first quarter Austria drew first blood taking a 3-0 lead with a 23-yard field goal by K Peter Kramberger with just under nine minutes left in the first half to cap a 12-play 70-yard drive that lasted almost seven minutes. But Japan answered immediately. WR Naoki Maeda returned the ensuing kickoff 40 yards to the Austria 48-yard line. Following a 2-yard run by QB Tetsuo Takata and a 15-yard penalty against Austria RB Tomokazu Sueyoshi rushed for a 31-yard touchdown on the next play to give Japan a 7-3 lead.
On the fourth play of Austriaís next possession CB Koki Kato produced what could be seen as the key play of the game when he intercepted a pass by QB Christoph Gross at the Japan 40-yard line and returned the ball 34 yards to the Austria 26-yard line. After a 17-yard run by RB Takuya Furutani on first down, two 1-yard runs and an incomplete pass by Takata RB Yasunori Maruta, who lined up as the kicker in a fake field goal attempt, ran the ball into Austriaís endzone from seven yards out to increase Japanís lead to 14-3. "I was disappointed, especially in the first half, starting out with an interception that we never seemed to recover from", Austria head coach Rick Rhoades said about the crucial turnover. "I thought our guys played hard against a great team. There were a few mistakes and they proved crucial. We have to learn from it and move on", he added.
After the two teams traded field goals in the remaining minutes of the first half for a 17-6 lead for Team Japan Austria suffered another setback when Kato had a second interception on the third play of the second half, this time at the Japan 12-yard line. In the second half Austria was never able to produce scoring opportunities and with just over six minutes left in the game Japan scored another touchdown (6-yard pass from QB Minoru Tono to RB Tomokazu Sueyoshi) for the final score of 24-6.

Japan opened World Cup play with a win against host Austria.
(Text: Dieter Hoch / Photo: Herbert Kratky)

Japan releases World Cup roster

(June 20, 2011) - One day after a 40-6 win in a test match against a combined squad of current and former players of Tokyo-based universities Hosei and Nihon Team Japan's Head Coach Kiyoyuki Mori released the names of the 45 players that will represent Japan at this year's World Cup in Austria (July 8 through July 16). The two-time world champion (1999 and 2003) goes into competition with probably the most experienced roster of the eight participating teams. 23 players (10 out of 23 on offense, 13 out of 21 on defense) have played in previous World Cups, six of them in more than one, and one of them, 42-year old DT Yasuo Wakisaka from Panasonic Denko Impulse, will increase his remarkable record by playing in his fourth World Cup. Only one college player made the final cut: RB Tomokazu Sueyoshi from Waseda University in Tokyo who last season in ten games rushed for 1.424 yards and 22 touchdowns. Japan's first game at the World Cup will be against host Austria on July 9.

(Text: Dieter Hoch)

World Cup Roster Japan

Road to World Cup in Austria

(June 2, 2011) - Japan national team head coach Kiyoyuki Mori invited 79 players to attend a series of workouts on the next three weekends concluded by an exhibition game on June 19 at Kawasaki Stadium against a team of current and former players of Tokyo-based Hosei University and Nihon University. The next day coach Mori will announce the names of the 45 players who will represent two-time World Champion Japan at the fourth World Cup of American Football in Austria in July. The final squad for the World Cup will ultimately consist primarily of players from the X League, the highest level of competition in Japan. The 79-man training camp roster includes only five players from college teams. RB Tomokazu Sueyoshi from Waseda University in Tokyo, the best player of the 2010 college football season (1,424 rushing yards and 22 rushing touchdowns), and TE Yuta Araki from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto probably have the best chances to make the 45-man roster for Austria. Both were already members of the team that defeated South Korea 76-0 in the qualification game in February.
While Sueyoshi and Araki would be the youngest members of the team the most interesting story could be the oldest man on the World Cup squad: DT Yasuo Wakisaka from Panasonic Denko Impulse. If he makes the team the 42-year old defender would be the only player who played in all four World Cups.

(Text: Dieter Hoch)

Team Japan Training Camp Roster

Japan never challenged

(February 27, 2011) - In the first ever Asian Championship of American Football in Kawasaki (Japan) Team Japan was never challenged by an overmatched squad from South Korea. In front of 3.800 fans the two-time World Cup winner (1999 and 2003) defeated South Korea 76-0 and claimed the final spot in the fourth World Cup of American Football tournament in Austria held this year from July 8 through July 16. The game was decided by the end of the first quarter when Japan had taken a 28-0 lead. South Korea was on the losing end from the very first play of the game when Ken Shimizu gave Japan's offense possession on South Korea's 20-yard line with a 65-yard kickoff return. Four plays later RB Takuya Furutani ran the ball into the endzone from three yards out for an early 7-0 lead. South Korea's first offensive possession ended after a few plays with a punt. Takeshi Miyake blocked the punt and returned the ball himself for 30 yards for Japan's second touchdown. South Korea's ensuing possession ended on the first play with an interception at the 25-yard line. Three plays later, the first two 7-yard passes by QB Shun Sugawara to WR Michihiro Ogawa, Japan reached the endzone again (11-yard pass from Sugawara to WR Naoki Maeda). And when South Korea was unable to move the ball and had to punt again Maeda returned the punt 69 yards to South Korea's 1-yard line. From there RB Yasuhiro Maruta ran the ball in for a 28-0 lead for Team Japan.
The Koreans kept on destroying themselves in the second quarter. Their next series ended after three plays with another interception. That lead to K Daisuke Aoki's 27-yard field goal for a 31-0 lead. South Korea had only one real chance to score some points. Following the field goal they kept the ball for eight plays thanks to a fumble on a punt return by Team Japan and a 23-yard pass to Japan's 18-yard line on a punt fake a few plays later. But on the ensuing play South Korea's William Hyukjin Kwon fumbled the ball at the 24-yard line. Eight plays later Japan scored another touchdown (10-yard pass from QB Tetsuo Takata to WR Ryoma Hagiyama) to increase the lead to 38-0 with three minutes and 32 seconds left to play in the first half. By that time, though, any doubts of the outcome of the game were already erased.

Japan's offense could never be stopped
by South Korea's defense.

(Text: Dieter Hoch / Foto: JAFA)

Game Statistics

Japan qualifies for World Cup

(February 26, 2011) - Japan won the final spot in the fourth World Cup of American Football tournament in Austria (July 8 through July 16). In the first ever Asian Championship of American Football the two-time World Cup winner (1999 and 2003) defeated South Korea 76-0 at Kawasaki Stadium. At the World Cup in Austria Team Japan faces Canada, France and host Austria in Group B competition. Austria will be the first opponent for the japanese team on July 9. Japan and defending world champion USA are the favourites to reach the gold medal game on July 16. In the 2007 gold medal game Team USA defeated Team Japan 23-20 in overtime at Kawasaki stadium.

(Text: Dieter Hoch)


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