Japan coach Moriyasu feels no pressure ahead of vital Spain tie

  • World
  • Thursday, 01 Dec 2022

DOHA, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Japan national team coach Hajime Moriyasu cut a relaxed figure in his press conference ahead of Thursday's decisive Group E match against Spain.

Depending on the result of the other group game between Germany and Costa Rica, Japan need to either draw, but most probably, beat Spain to progress to the last 16.

The coach said he felt "no pressure, just anticipation and joy" ahead of the match, and insisted he didn't feel frustrated after Japan failed to make good after their opening win against Germany, when they lost 1-0 to Costa Rica.

"I have written in my notebook the main points to say today and the first thing is that the past can't be changed," he said, while adding that he hoped for a "strong reaction."

He accepted that Japan will probably see considerably less of the ball against Spain and their possession-based game.

"Spain are very good physically, tactically and technically and they are a very well-rounded side under coach Luis Enrique. I have a deep understanding of the Spanish national team and the development of players, and they have made me feel that a country needs its own style and rhythm of football," he said.

Japan's last meeting with Spain was in the Tokyo Olympics, and seven members of the Japanese team that lost in the semifinals of that tournament are likely to play on Thursday.

"That game was a big disappointment for us," admitted Moriyasu, who nevertheless believes Asian football continues to improve.

"The whole world follows European football, both tactically and physically. But the gap is narrowing. The aim of Japanese football is to win the World Cup in 2050, and I hope that tomorrow's game will not only allow us to get out of the group, but also show what we can do in the future."

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