Saturday , July 13 2024

Vietnam a formidable opponent: Japan head coach

Head coach Hajime Moriyasu said he is wary of Vietnam, whom Japan will play in their opening game of the 2024 Asian Cup this month.

Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu at the 2019 Asian Cup. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu at the 2019 Asian Cup. Photo by VnExpress/Hieu Luong

In the post-match interview of the 5-0 friendly win for Japan against Thailand on Monday, Moriyasu mentioned Vietnam, saying that they could cause difficulties for Japan on Jan. 14.

“Vietnam head coach Philippe Troussier knows Japanese football really well,” Moriyasu said, adding that Troussier is doing a good job combining experienced key players and young talents to make Vietnam a strong team.

Japan are undefeated against Vietnam with four wins and one draw. That 1-1 draw was the most recent game when the two teams played in the 2022 World Cup third qualifying round.

Moriyasu showed his respect for Troussier, who was Japan’s head coach in 2000. He’s also looking forward to facing him at the Asian Cup this year, as Japan aim for a win and to win the title.

“I still regret not winning the 2019 Asian Cup. To win the World Cup, we surely must win the Asian Cup first,” Moriyasu added.

The last time that Japan won the Asian Cup was in 2011. Before that, they won the title three times in 1992, 2000 and 2004. Troussier led them to the trophy in 2000.

Japan have announced their squad list of 26 players for the Asian Cup with many stars playing in Europe. The team will have a final friendly game against Jordan before entering the tournament.

The 2024 Asian Cup will take place from Jan. 12 to Feb. 10 in Qatar. 24 teams divided into six groups will compete in a round-robin format. The top two teams of each group and the four best third-placed teams will enter the round of 16.

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