Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Japan curse Drogba and two 'nightmare' minutes

15 June 2014, 09:55

Tokyo -Japanese football fans erupted in joy -- then dropped their heads in dismay, cursing Didier Drogba as the Blue Samurai went down 2-1 to Ivory Coast in their World Cup opener.

Thousands of people gathered at sports bars and stadiums across the Land of the Rising Sun to watch the match in Recife live on television on a late Sunday morning in Japan.

"It seemed Drogba did us in all by himself," former Japan coach Takeshi Okada, who guided the Asian champions to the last-16 round at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, commented in the Brazilian city on public broadcaster NHK.

"Now it will take a tremendous amount of energy to carry on our tough job," said the scholarly 57-year-old. "We must accept the result as something which Japanese football needed. We must take it as a trial which must be overcome."

AC Milan midfielder Keisuke Honda, who scored twice at South Africa 2010, opened the account in the 16th minute.

But the Elephants roared to life after Drogba was sent in at the 62nd minute, with Wilfried Bony and Gervinho scoring in the 64th and 66th minutes.

"Drogba's arrival turned the tide," an NHK announcer said.

"Two nightmare minutes!" tweeted the SKyPerfect TV network as social networks were swamped with thousands of messages lamenting the Samurai's defeat.

"What a devastating way to lose! It really hurts to lose a World Cup opener. We must forget all about it and keep on attacking," tweeted one Yosuke Miyake.

At the Tokyo Dome ballpark, some 35,000 people watching the match on huge stadium screens cheered their team on.

"I believed for the first 60 minutes that Japan would win," Hiroshi Tsujita told AFP at the stadium. "It ended in such a disappointing way."

He was keeping the faith, however. "I believe they will definitely win the next two matches."

Japan will face Greece on June 19 in Natal, and Colombia on June 24 in Cuiaba.

At the Saitama Stadium in Tokyo's northern suburbs, home to the J-League side Urawa Reds, one young woman told HNK: "We will be alright next time. I believe, so 'gambare' (hang in there)!"

About 800 police guarded a zebra crossing in front of the main station in Shibuya, one of Tokyo's shopping and entertainment hubs, as football fans bundled out of sports bars.

Many fans, clad in replica Blue Samurai shirts, were seen exchanging high-fives despite Japan's loss.

"It was a very tough defeat," Japan captain Makoto Hasebe told NHK. "We lost without expressing our style of football on this pitch.

"But we have two more group matches and we have no choice but to regroup now."



7 arrests over violence at West Ham

27 October 2016, 18:00

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Leave ODM if you are unhappy, Rai...

Leave ODM if you are not happy, Raila Odinga tells Senator. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Former Assistant Minister joins J...

A former Assistant Minister has quit PNU and joined the Jubilee Party. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
DP Ruto intervenes as Kerio Valle...

DP William Ruto will visit Kerio Valley to try solve never-ending clashes between local residents. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
ODM MP chased down by angry Kibra...

Kibra MP Ken Okoth had a hard time in his constituency after angry youth pelted him with stones. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
Prepare for DP Ruto fight in 2022...

An MP has warned that the Kalenjin Community will not stand back and watch as DP Ruto is duped ahead of the 2022 polls. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Be careful who you deal with, DP ...

Watch out for your political future, DP William Ruto has been warned. Read more...