Japanese national team coach Vahid Halilhodzic claims that Australia are undoubtedly one of the strongest teams coming into the World Cup qualifiers, but he reckons that the opposition do have some weaknesses that Japan can take advantage of.
The manager recently announced his 27 man squad for the competition which will take place on August 31. This will be followed by a game against Saudi Arabia in just five days. The Bosnian coach recently claimed that midfielder and captainMakoto Hasebe will be available for the game after having been unavailable for the last three matches because of an injury.
If Japan managed to win against Australia in the game at the Saitama Stadium, the team would be able to reach the World Cup finals for a sixth consecutive time.Halilhodzic is under great pressure to seal qualification, as Japan are one of the top teams in this region.
Shinji Kagawa could not feature in Japan’s World Cup qualifier against Iraq due to a dislocated left shoulder as announced by the Japan Football Association.
The Borussia Dortmund midfielder injured his left shoulder 10 minutes into the 1-1 draw with Syria at Tokyo Stadium. He was taken out of the field and substituted for ShuKurata.
“Right now I want the injury to heal as fast as it can” He said in a statement released by the Japan Football Association. “I expect the players will fight for victory against Iraq.”
Yasuyuki Konno found the net in the midway through the second half if the Japan vs Syria 1-1 friendly draw in which the former Manchester United midfielder, Kagawa got his left shoulder dislocated.
The Head coach VahidHalilhodzicnoted that the problem was a concern ahead of Japan’s next match.
Japan’s contingent at the on-going Under-20 World Cup are making strides.
They played South Africa in the Group D opener. They conceded few minutes into the game but the resilient Samurai Blueskept pushing.
Japan lost several chances to draw level with their opponents. Striker Koki Ogawa missed good chances as well. In one of his attempts, the ball hit the framework to deny him. The game ended without any change in the first half. After the break, Ogawa equalized. Ritsu Doan also found the target to seal the points for the Asian side.
After the game, Ogawa said he was confident that he would get a goal sooner or later. He said it was a relief for the team to win their opener and start the tournament on a good note.
Japan are set to face tougher opponents in Uruguay in the next game. Ogawa admitted that the South Americans were a strong side. He advised that they should not play defensively but that the team take the ball forward and ball with confidence.
He thanked the Japanese fans that came to Korea to see them play. He said the team owes them to play very well and not leave them disappointed.
Ogawa plays in the J-League for Jubilo Iwata. He said his few appearances have helped him now that he was playing in the World Cup. He added that it would be difficult but that the team dreams of becoming the world champions.
“Anything is possible in football,” he says with a smile.
The tournament is on-going in Korea republic where 52 games would be played to decide the winners.
Vahid Halilhodzic reckons that in spite of toppling UAE in their backyard, Japan’s job is still incomplete and the players should not lose their focus in the wake of that victory
Back in Japan, there was a lot of anticipation for this game against UAE because when UAE had visited Japan for the first leg of the tie, it was a very controversial game.
A lot of decisions of the match officials had gone against the home team resulting in their defeat and leaving everyone in Japan very, very angry.
Since then, the return leg was hyped as an opportunity of avenging that loss and now that Japan has managed to do that, the players are being showered with praises by the media and the fans.
But, as per Halilhodzic, the feet of the players should remain grounded in spite of these praises because they have not qualified till now.
It often happens after a victory that the team loses its focus and the result turns out to be absolutely horrific the next time they play.
And if there is a defeat in the next game, then the victory against UAE would prove to be meaningless.
So it’s important to capitalize on that victory and secure another victory over Thailand and for that, the players will have to be focused as they were before the UAE trip.
Halilhodzic says he doesn’t want to pay too much attention to the number of points at the moment. He is just looking for a victory in every game that comes in the way.
There are three games remaining for Japan and if they win all three, it will itself make sure that they have enough number of points to remain in top two in Group B and thus, advance to the showpiece tournament in Russia.
Japan is attempting to qualify for the 6th successive time into the FIFA World Cup and have been doing a fairly impressive job as the Asian squad is currently located in the top spot of Group B with 10 points, which is the same amount of points as Saudi Arabia but the Japanese national side are falling behind in terms of goal difference.
In Japan’s quest of qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, they have managed to so far, defeat Thailand, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. These positive results have allowed Japan to position themselves in the 2nd spot of Group B right behind Saudia Arabia.
Despite making good performances and being in a comfortable position, the head coach of Japan VahidHalilhodzic wants his squad to continue improving and one of his priorities is to add a true striker to the Japanese national side.
“Right now, we’re getting goals from various positions: from centre-back, from midfield, from the forwards. It’s a good thing, but what I want is a pure, out-and-out goal-scorer. Someone who can take the one or two chances he may or may not have in a game.I must find this type of player or develop one, somehow. Every good team has one, a player who finds a way to score not just when he is on a roll, but also when the tide is against him’’
“It’s possible to develop good strikers and good goalkeepers, and it’s critical that you do. All the best countries have good players at these important positions. If you don’t, you cannot expect results. It’s the same at club level. Bayern, Barcelona, Real, Chelsea, Manchester United, they all have them. And we need to conduct our search’’ Japan’s VahidHalilhodzic said as he expressed his desire to add a true forward to his team.
Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic has claimed that he wants a proper goal scorer in the team rather than having to rely on the whole team to contribute with the goals.
Japan may have won four out of the last five games, but only Hertha Berlin forward GenkiHaraguchi has managed to score more than one goal. Yet, Japan have been able to achieve success because they have been able to get goals from across the pitch. While this may be viewed as a sign of a healthy team,Halilhodzic claims that he wants a pure goal scorer.
Managing the national team simply does not involve getting a player from other teams like in the case of club football. Hence,Halilhodzic has urged the requirement for the Japanese league to provide him with a real alternative. He has claimed that the Japanese J-League is creating around 22 shots per game on an average. However, only 40% of these shots are hitting the target.
Halilhodzic says that it is important for the league to improve this statistic to more than 50%, thus bringing out more goal scorers in the process. Keisuke Honda is widely regarded as one of the best strikers for Japan and he has scored 36 goals in 86 appearances for the national team.
“Right now, we’re getting goals from various positions: from centre-back, from midfield, from the forwards. It’s a good thing, but what I want is a pure, out-and-out goal-scorer. Someone who can take the one or two chances he may or may not have in a game.I must find this type of player – or develop one, somehow. Every good team has one, a player who finds a way to score not just when he is on a roll, but also when the tide is against him,” said Halilhodzic.
Japan national team coach Vahid Halilhodzic has claimed that he will pick players only if they are getting regular first-team football at their respective clubs.
The Bosnian manager recently stunned the national team by dropping players like Shinji Kagawa and Honda from the game against Saudi Arabia. This was an extremely crucial game for the considering that it was one of World Cup 2018 qualification matches. Yet,Halilhodzic had the courage to go these players even though they have more than 150 games combined under their belt.Halilhodzic has seen Honda struggled to get game time at AC Milan while the situation with Shinji Kagawa is also quite similar.
The recent decision from the 64-year-old Bosnian manager may have been done in order to prevent any complacency within the team. Japan have been on a very strong run of form which has seen them move level on points with Saudi Arabia in the qualification group.
They have taken three wins from their opening five matches, but Japan need to build up an even stronger run in order to prevent competition from Australia coming up. UAE and Australia are seen as the main competitors for the final automatic qualification spot from the group.
Incidentally, Japan’s next match will be against UAE away from home. “I keep telling the overseas players that they all have to play more for their clubs. I know they’re all in a difficult situation, but I tell them over and over again that they have to get into the starting line-up or move to a club where they will be able to play. Our team depends on the form of the overseas players and I never imagined the situation that we’ve been in for the past two or three months, where 80 or 90 per cent of our overseas players are not playing,” said Halilhodzic.
A goal from Mile Jerdinak ensured that Japan did not leave with the required three points in a World Cup qualifying match.
Jerdinak scored a penalty to salvage a point for the Socceroos and keep the hopes of making Russia 2018 alive.
Japan were set for a big win after Genki Haraguchi grabbed a fifth minute goal. The first half of the affair proceeded rather slowly after the goal. However, the Socceroos found their way into the game gradually. The Japanese would be unhappy for gifting the Aussies the penalty that led to the equalizer, but would be grateful that they did not concede another. The final twenty minutes of the game saw the Ange Postecoglou-led side chase a possible winner ruthlessly. The transformation came too late for the hosts to get the much wanted match winner.
Australia would be happy that they were able to eventually get a point from the clash with the Samurai Blues but they are likely to lose the top spot in the group. The consolation is that they remain one point ahead of the Japs. They still have a long way to go with six matches and would hope that their fortune get better. They actually started the qualifying campaign with so much confidence but it is not as high now.
Haraguchi got his third in three matches when he intercepted a pass from Trent Sainsbury. It was a one on one chance that he converted well. The Japanese fans came out in their numbers to out-sing locals at the Etihad stadium that housed over 48,000 fans.
Australia played the 4-4-2 formation, adding surprise player Apostolos Giannou to Tomi Juric in the front yet the duo could not breakthrough. As the game went on, they changed formation to 4-3-3.
Japan u-16 national team prepare for last group stage game of AFC U-16 championship hosted by India.
The U-16 Japan National Team, which has built positive momentum with two consecutive wins following their victory in the second group stage match against U-16 Kyrgyzstan, held only one training session in the morning the following day after the game.
The players who had been on the pitch in the match, focused on recovering while the rest of the players practiced in a game format for one hour. Another match in the same group was played, and U-16 Vietnam won against U-16 Australia. As a result, Japan have already secured the top spot in the group and advanced to the next stage after crushing Australia u-16 with a 6-0 big win.
The team’s coach, Moriyama Yoshiro reviewed the two previous games and advice the players to brace themselves. “Your effort brought positive results. But, we haven’t achieved anything yet,” he said.
Meanwhile, Japan have established themselves as the team to beat at the tournament after winning all of their group matches, scoring 21 times in the process, made them outstanding. Japan demolished Vietnam 7-0 in their opening game and continued to dominate as they hammered Kyrgyzstan 8-0.
Japan’s opponents, the United Arab Emirates have had a less spectacular path to the knockout stage, though they are still unbeaten. Despite his side’s perfect record, Japan coach Yoshiro Moriyama has cautioned against complacency.
“Despite our performances in the group stage, we will not be overconfident coming into our quarter-final game, we know that it’s going to be tough. UAE is a difficult team and didn’t lose any games in the group stages and, while we’re happy we won our group, the competition is going to be totally different now that we’re into the knockout phase,” he said.
Japanese striker Takuma Asano has stated that he wants success with the Japanese team in the World Cup.
He said that he has made it a personal objective to be a key player in the 2022 World Cup. He believes that Japan will have a good team in 2022, and they could at least reach the semi-final.
Takuma Asano has joined Arsenal in the summer, and he hopes to break into the first-team during the season. He has been part of the team that were involved in the Olympics football tournament, and he will be joining Arsenal in the course of this month.
The Japanese player believes that nothing is impossible and that it is up to the players to make sure they qualify for the World Cup. He said that he would be 28 years old in 2022, and hopefully, he will be a better player by then.
He believes that Japan can make it to the next World Cup in Russia, and he is determined to seize the opportunity to make it to his first ever World Cup. He believes that Japan has a good team and that the players have the necessary experience to make it at the highest level.
Asano said that he looks to players such as Honda and Kagawa for models and that he wants to replicate what they have achieved, He admitted that it would not be easy, but he wants to give his best to help Japan.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has stated that Takuma Asano has a good potential and that they are looking to develop the player over the next few years. He said that the player had had a good start to his career in Japan, and he is hoping that the player develops in the coming years.