Sub-editor/Correspondent, Singapore
Patrick's Feed
Apr 29, 2014

Soccer-World-Undercooked Iran face challenge to score goals and points

April 29 (Reuters) – Iran head to Brazil as Asia’s top-ranked nation but their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of a World Cup for the first time have been hampered by a lack of top class friendly opposition and a wave of negativity surrounding the team.

Since booking their spot in the finals by winning their Asian qualifying group last June, Iran, ranked No.1 in Asia and 37th in the world by FIFA, have only played one international friendly match against Guinea in Tehran, which they lost 2-1.

Apr 28, 2014

World-Defensive frailties hinder Japan’s Brazil ambitions

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Japan’s attacking flair and favorable draw have boosted belief they can reach a first World Cup quarter-final, but those ambitions rely on coach Alberto Zaccheroni being able to fix their leaky defense.

The Asian champions have been paired with Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece in an even-looking Group C in Brazil, their fifth consecutive appearance at the finals.

Apr 28, 2014

Defensive frailties hinder Japan’s Brazil ambitions

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Japan’s attacking flair and favorable draw have boosted belief they can reach a first World Cup quarter-final, but those ambitions rely on coach Alberto Zaccheroni being able to fix their leaky defense.

The Asian champions have been paired with Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece in an even-looking Group C in Brazil, their fifth consecutive appearance at the finals.

Apr 28, 2014

Honda carries burden of Japan’s World Cup challenge

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – If Japan are going to make a first World Cup quarter-final they will require Keisuke Honda to be firing on all cylinders.

The bleach-blond playmaker is the central figure in coach Alberto Zaccheroni’s attacking plans with the Asian champions, who are competing at their fifth successive World Cup since their debut appearance in 1998, confident of improving on their last-16 exit by Paraguay four years ago.

Apr 28, 2014

Zaccheroni’s flair faces acid test with Japan

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Alberto Zaccheroni has done his best over four years in charge of Japan to dismiss the stereotype of Italian football men being focused on defense.

The Italian coach has transformed the Blue Samurai into a high-tempo attacking unit full of flair and capable of cutting open and scoring against the toughest of oppositions.

Apr 28, 2014

Soccer-World-Honda carries burden of Japan’s World Cup challenge

April 28 (Reuters) – If Japan are going to make a first World Cup quarter-final they will require Keisuke Honda to be firing on all cylinders.

The bleach-blond playmaker is the central figure in coach Alberto Zaccheroni’s attacking plans with the Asian champions, who are competing at their fifth successive World Cup since their debut appearance in 1998, confident of improving on their last-16 exit by Paraguay four years ago.

Apr 28, 2014

Soccer-World-Zaccheroni’s flair faces acid test with Japan

April 28 (Reuters) – Alberto Zaccheroni has done his best over four years in charge of Japan to dismiss the stereotype of Italian football men being focused on defence.

The Italian coach has transformed the Blue Samurai into a high-tempo attacking unit full of flair and capable of cutting open and scoring against the toughest of oppositions.

Apr 28, 2014

Soccer-World-Defensive frailties hinder Japan’s Brazil ambitions

April 28 (Reuters) – Japan’s attacking flair and favourable draw have boosted belief they can reach a first World Cup quarter-final, but those ambitions rely on coach Alberto Zaccheroni being able to fix their leaky defence.

The Asian champions have been paired with Colombia, Ivory Coast and Greece in an even-looking Group C in Brazil, their fifth consecutive appearance at the finals.

Apr 23, 2014

Vietnam club make last 16 despite match-fixing admission

By Patrick Johnston

(Reuters) – Vissai Ninh Binh, who quit the Vietnam top flight over a match-fixing scandal in the AFC Cup, took advantage of a slow moving investigation into the matter to book a place in last 16 of the tournament as Group G winners on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, 11 players of the Vietnam Cup winners told police they received around 800 million dong ($37,900) for fixing a March 18 AFC Cup match against Malaysia’s Kelantan in which they came from 2-1 down to win 3-2.

Apr 23, 2014

Soccer-Vietnam club make last 16 despite match-fixing admission

April 23 (Reuters) – Vissai Ninh Binh, who quit the Vietnam top flight over a match-fixing scandal in the AFC Cup, took advantage of a slow moving investigation into the matter to book a place in last 16 of the tournament as Group G winners on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, 11 players of the Vietnam Cup winners told police they received around 800 million dong ($37,900) for fixing a March 18 AFC Cup match against Malaysia’s Kelantan in which they came from 2-1 down to win 3-2.