Good Company

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Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Meanwhile on the Road to the World Cup

U.S. Prepares for World Cup Qualifier
: the 11th ranked U.S. team to take on Trinidad and Tobago.
Update: U.S. wins 2-1!
The United States, which plays its next qualifier at Mexico on March 27, is 22-0-8 against North and Central American and Caribbean rivals since a September 2001 loss at Costa Rica. The Americans haven't lost to a Caribbean opponent since a 1994 defeat in Trinidad.

Japan and North Korea play today in a fierce rivalry game in Japan.

Update: Japan wins:
Japan defeated North Korea 2-1 in a closely fought soccer World Cup qualifier on Wednesday amid tight security in a match watched as much for its diplomatic overtones as its sporting rivalry.

The battle for a berth at the 2006 World Cup tournament in Germany came as ties between the two, still uneasy after Japan's brutal colonisation of the Korean peninsula in the early 20th century, have been further strained by Pyongyang's admission that it kidnapped more than a dozen Japanese citizens decades ago.

"The North Korean team really tormented our team," Japan coach Zico told reporters afterwards. "But we kept our fighting spirit ... and that's why we scored two goals."

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