News ID: 237343
Published: 0322 GMT January 14, 2019

Moriyasu sees challengers aplenty for Japan at Asian Cup

Moriyasu sees challengers aplenty for Japan at Asian Cup

Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu believes his side is just one of several teams which have what it takes to win the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 title.

Genki Haraguchi’s first-half penalty helped the Samurai Blue seal a narrow 1-0 win over Oman on Sunday, a result which – along with Uzbekistan’s subsequent defeat of Turkmenistan – saw Japan go through to the Round of 16, reported.

Although happy with his side’s progress thus far, the former Sanfrecce Hiroshima boss was quick to add that there are other nations emerging who he feels also have the potential to become champion of Asia.

“I think that all the teams who are here in this tournament have a chance of winning it,” he said.

“That is especially true for those sides have already qualified for the knockout phase.

“Japan is definitely here to win the title, but at the same time, match by match, we want to keep on developing as a team until we [hopefully] reach the final.”

After guiding Japan to a second successive group stage victory, Moriyasu admitted that there is still room for improvement, especially as the four-time Asian Cup champion is set to play Uzbekistan in its final game – an encounter which will determine who finishes top of Group F.

“We know that every game will be tough at the Asian Cup,” explained the Kakegawa native.

“I know that we need to improve going forward in order to create more chances from which we could score and then kill off a game. Like today, if we had scored more goals in the first half, it would have made the game easier for us.

“We have learned more about ourselves, something which we can take into the next match.”



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