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Ex Pompey players in Asia Cup epic!



When Australia lined up against Japan it was the two favourites in the competition going head to head. But from a Pompey perspective it was Striker John Aloisi (AUS) lining up against Goalkeeper Yoshi Kawaguchi (JAP).

Would either make a name for themselves in a game that the rest of the World either wasn't interested in or simply didn't care? For those who might be unaware it was a game to be remembered with massive impact from the former Pompey players.

Aloisi opened the scoring to put the Socceroos 1-0 up, but the lead was quickly squandered moments later as Japan levelled. When an Aussie was sent off with some 15 mins left Japan held the upper hand but could not put the resilient Aussies away. Missed chances cost them as 90 mins finished in a stalemate. Extra Time provided nothing more than Mark Schwarzer keeping the Blue Samurai at bay.

So we go down to the proverbial penalty shoot-out....

Up steps Harry Kewell (Liverpool) and again Lucas Neill (West Ham) who both see Yoshi Kawaguchi making saves that helps to eliminate the Aussies from a competition that they thought they would win. Well taken earlier John (Ex Pompey) but more importantly well done Yoshi (not Kamikaze) but hero in Japan Kawaguchi. I still remember meeting him personally at Fratton; with photos taken, and more recently when I dropped his name when in Tokyo for business, as to how highly regarded he is in the land of the red sun.

May Japan and Yoshi prosper; he is a really nice bloke who unfortunately didn't quite make it in the English League.

He played particularly well against Man City I recollect one year as they went on to be promoted as we beat them by the normal score of 2-1 but I also remember his height being a problem. Yesterday he rose to new heights and with it protected his status in his homeland Japan. Believe me but everybody in Japan knows this man.... bigger than Beckham.

Written by Pompeygray
The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday July 22 2007

Time: 8:13PM

Your Comments

Yoshi was a mad slice of our recent history & I think he lost out more. Glad to see he has moved on & is doing well as we have, thankfully.
storagematt
i liked the fella... was pretty pleased when he arrived and it helped raise our profile alittle more even if things didn't really work out... still think he is a decent keeper tho, but like you say mate things appeared to have worked out for all in the end anyway...
pompeyrug
I quite liked him actually, he was just too small. Did as was expected and raised our profile in Asia.
pentonpompey
Nice guy,but along with charlie Chalkias and Graeme Lloyd,the poorest keepers to don a Pompey shirt in my opinion. Good luck to him though.
lincspfcfan
let us follow his example, and win our very own asia cup :)
pompeycarpet
i thought Aloisi wasnt bad either
russellm
with all the kawaguchi talk we overlooked aloisi didn't we! yep, i really liked the fella too mate, just a shame we had to be shafted and were forced to let him go so cheaply - something like 650,000 wasn't it...
pompeyrug
Thought he did alright, was a frequent scorer, was strong on the ball, and often took his opportunities. There was talk of us getting him back a season or two ago but John is probably not getting any younger now. Still it's good to see him still doing the business. I think he scored in the World Cup and got the penalty against Uruguay that got them there.
pompeygray
yep, at that time i would have taken him back but he prob knew himself coming back might not have been the best thing... he did indeed score in the world cup and i think this might have been against japan? i know the aussies were losing and cahill scored and then aloisi i think and they won 3-1 or 3-2...
pompeyrug
 

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