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Saturday, 6 June 2009

Japan book World Cup place, promise early exit

Japan became the first team to qualify for the 2010 World Cup after heroically fighting off Uzbekistan on Saturday evening but manager Takeshi Okada assurres the world: "you'll hardly know we're there."

The Blue Samurais have been present for each of the last three World Cups, but their contribution has been limited, only reaching the second round in 2002 when they hosted the event, which allowed them to choose their group opponents.

Once again the flimsy Asian qualification pool has allowed Japan to secure their invite to football's biggest event by fending off Qatar, Bahrain and Uzbekistan, but team coach Okada has reassured the watching world that his men have no intention of holding their own at the highest level.

"I hope my side haven't given anyone the wrong idea," he explained after being chaired off the pitch by his triumphant players.

"We are a truly mediocre football team and we won't get more than a point in South Africa. I have complete faith that we will be crushed by Spain, pushed aside by Argentina and contest a dire draw with Tunisia."

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