Japan embraces criticism despite opening Asian Cup with 4-2 win

Japan's head coach, Hajime Moriyasu, welcomed fan criticism of his team's performance in their Asian Cup group victory over Vietnam. The Samurai Blue secured a 4-2 win after falling behind 2-1 in their Group D opener against Vietnam, led by former Japan coach Philippe Troussier.

Publication: 18.01.2024 - 16:13
Japan embraces criticism despite opening Asian Cup with 4-2 win
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"Some fans may be dissatisfied with conceding two goals against Vietnam. People may have expected us to win by a larger margin, but it doesn't affect our preparation," Moriyasu stated ahead of their upcoming game against Iraq.

He emphasized that negative feedback is a natural aspect of football and reflects the fans' engagement. "It's important to learn from our mistakes and improve what we can do better," Moriyasu added.

Japan defender Ko Itakura echoed Moriyasu's sentiments, acknowledging that unexpected situations can arise in major tournaments like the Asian Cup. "We can draw many positive lessons from the Vietnam game to enhance our performance in upcoming matches," said Itakura.

Japan's next opponents, Iraq, are a formidable team in West Asia, having won the tournament in 2007. Although Japan has an unbeaten record against Iraq in their last nine encounters, they anticipate a more physically challenging match compared to the Vietnam game.

"We've been analyzing their recent games. They are physically robust and exhibit strong teamwork," Moriyasu noted.

Additionally, Arsenal full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu, who missed the first game, is back in training and could be part of the lineup against Iraq.

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