Japan

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New Zealand’s head coach Steve Hansen  and Australia’s head coach Michael Cheika.  “Today we’re playing 14 or 15 Test matches alone and you just can’t ask the same people to do it all the time,” said Hansen. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty

When New Zealand face Japan in Tokyo on Saturday, the All Blacks will be thousands of miles away. Dress it up any way you like but by announcing a sq(...)

Belgium’s Nacer Chadli scores their winning  goal  in injury-time at the end of the  World Cup Round of 16 against  Japan at the  Rostov Arena. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters

Belgium 3 Japan 2 It will go down as a World Cup classic, a wild and chaotic game that will be talked about in years to come, in particular that dra(...)

Romelu Lukaku: has recovered from an ankle injury and will lead Belgium’s attack against Japan. Photograph/: Kai Pfaffenbach/Reuters

Belgium v Japan, Rostov Arena, Monday, 7.0 (Live on RTÉ2/BBC!) Belgium go into Monday’s World Cup last 16 match against Japan full of confidence but (...)

Poland’s  Jan Bednarek  fires homes past Japan goalkeeper  Eiji Kawashima  during the  World Cup  Group H match  at Volgograd Arena. Photograph:  Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Japan 0 Poland 1 On a swelteringly hot evening full of twists and turns, Japan somehow scrambled into the knockout stage of the World Cup finals cour(...)

Keisuke Honda scores Japan’s second goal against Senegal. Photograph: Andrew Coulridge/Reuters

Japan 2 Senegal 2 Japan have brought their oldest ever squad to a World Cup and all that experience counted for something as they summoned the spirit(...)

 Yuya Osako  celebrates scoring Japan’s second  goal with his team-mates   during  the  Group H match  at Mordovia Arena  in Saransk. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Colombia 1 Japan 2 It is difficult to imagine a team making a more calamitous start to a game in this World Cup finals than Colombia did here and, un(...)

A postage stamp with the image of Poland captain Robert Lewandowski. Photograph: Leszek Szymanski/EPA

The Matches Group H Colombia v Japan (Saransk, 1pm) Betting: Colombia 4/6, Japan 9/4, Draw 3/1 Group H Poland v Senegal (Spartak Stadium, 4pm)&(...)

James Rodriguez’s volley against Uruguay in the 2014 World Cup was a particular highlight. Photo: Felipe Dana - Pool/Getty Images

Colombia 40-1 Poland 50-1 Senegal 150-1 Japan 200-1 The contenders Colombia lit up the tournament four years ago with James Rodriguez bursting onto (...)

Shinji Kagawa is the key man for Japan in their World Cup campaign. Photo: Masterpress/Getty Images

Japan (200-1) Who are they? This will be Japan’s sixth World Cup and realistically they will have little chance of bettering the performances in 200(...)

Hannah Tyrrell celebrates Ireland’s opening victory over Australia. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The natural confidence of Hannah Tyrrell can only be an inspiration for any young girl looking in on this World Cup. It didn’t come easy. Tyrrell has(...)

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