When Shinji Okazaki equalised I screamed so loud in the office that it woke up my two colleagues (who were also sleep deprived).
I really believe that Japan deserve to make it to at least the round-of-16. This is their strongest World Cup team ever, filled with talented players who have lots of overseas experience at international clubs. People like Kagawa and Yoshida (England), Nagatomo and Honda (Italy), and Okazaki and Hasebe (Germany). They also have a decent manager in Alberto Zaccheroni who has a positive, attacking style.
The 1-4 scoreline does not tell the full story, and is way too flattering for Colombia. Japan created more chances in the first and second half, but once again their finishing failed them when it mattered the most. World Cup matches are won and lost based on your ability to score from half-chances. Japan couldn’t score another goal, they also failed to score against Greece, which I think was the more costly result.
Now, only South Korea and Iran are left, but their chances to progress looks wafer thin. Looks like Asia’s ability to win a World Cup will have to wait a bit longer.
You can laugh at me for supporting the weaker Asian teams, but this is my continental pride as an Asian football fan. Tim Cahill managed to score one of the goals of tournament so far for Australia, proving that Asia do have the quality to leave their mark.