Connect with us

AFP

Japan boss vows to fight for World Cup place against Australia


Tokyo (AFP) – Japan are not out of the 2022 World Cup qualification picture yet, manager Hajime Moriyasu said Monday, as the embattled Asian giants prepared to host Australia in a crunch match.

From their opening three games in Asian qualifying Group B, Japan have taken only three points, leaving them in real danger of missing the World Cup for the first time since 1994.

Moriyasu’s side slumped to a 1-0 home defeat against Oman before beating China 1-0 away, then lost 1-0 to Saudi Arabia in a dismal performance last Thursday in Jeddah.

Japan have their backs to the wall going into Tuesday’s game in Saitama against an Australian side that last week became the first team ever to win 11 straight games in the same World Cup qualifying campaign.

“Of course, we’re aware we’re in a difficult situation,” said Moriyasu, who Japanese media have speculated could lose his job with anything less than a win.

“But we knew before the qualifiers that it would be a tough campaign, and we’re still in with a chance. We’ll go into tomorrow’s game fighting for a place at the World Cup.”

Moriyasu admitted his team have struggled to get up to speed physically, and there was “a gap between what we’ve wanted to do and what we’ve been capable of doing”.

Japan would have to “read the game and play smart” against Australia, said Moriyasu, who played alongside Socceroos manager Graham Arnold with Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the J-League.

Australia top Group B on goal difference ahead of the Saudis, with Japan currently out of the automatic qualification spots for Qatar 2022 in third place.

“We’ll look at their strong and weak points and see how we can match up against them,” said Moriyasu.

“They’re a strong physical team, and on top of that they’ve got good technique.”

200+ Channels With Sports & News
  • Starting price: $33/mo. for fubo Latino Package
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup, Euro 2024 & more
  • Includes NBC, USA, FOX, ESPN, CBSSN & more
Live & On Demand TV Streaming
  • Price: $35/mo. for Sling Blue
  • Watch Premier League, World Cup & MLS
  • Includes USA, NBC, FOX, FS1 + more
Many Sports & ESPN Originals
  • Price: $6.99/mo. (or get ESPN+, Hulu & Disney+ for $13.99/mo.)
  • Features Bundesliga, LaLiga, Championship, & more
  • Also includes daily ESPN FC news & highlights show
2,000+ soccer games per year
  • Price: $4.99/mo
  • Features Champions League, Serie A, Europa League & NWSL
  • Includes CBS, Star Trek & CBS Sports HQ
175 Premier League Games & PL TV
  • Starting price: $4.99/mo. for Peacock Premium
  • Watch 175 exclusive EPL games per season
  • Includes Premier League TV channel plus movies, TV shows & more

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

More in AFP

Translate »