Japanese coach Vahid Halilhodzic says that he is still surprised by the fact that his team were unable to beat Singapore in a recent World Cup 2018 qualifying match.
Japan were expected to steamroll their opponents, who were 102 places behind them in the FIFA rankings. As expected, they created a plethora of chances during the 90 minutes. A whopping 18 shots on target coupled with 14 corners said a lot of the match in general, but they were unable to find even a single goal past goalkeeper Mohamad Izwan bin Mahbud. It was probably one of those games when the goalkeeper looked invincible.
After the game,Halilhodzic said that he could not explain the result. Japan had won the last three games, which were all friendlies, before coming into the game against Singapore. The presence of home advantage only could have made things easier. As it is, the incredible setback received in the opening game of the qualification campaign is likely to dent confidence within the team. For the time being, though, Japan will not have to worry about World Cup qualifying since they will be taking part in the East Asian cup which begins on August. The next qualifying match is against Cambodia in September.
“I’ve never seen a situation like this before in my career.We kept creating chances and the players gave everything to get the win. The only thing that was missing was a goal.If we had been able to get a goal, then it would have turned out to be a different game. It’s difficult to accept but there is no need to be despondent. At home, in front of great support like this, we have to win,” said Halilhodzic. Singapore are unlikely leaders in the World Cup qualification group after having taken four points from the opening two games.