Japan national football team head coach Hajime Moriyasu has confirmed that striker Takefusa Kubo is likely to start against Iraq in the second leg of their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup 2023 group stage match.
Japan will face Iraq in their Asian Cup Group D second leg at Al Rayyan Education Stadium in Qatar on June 19 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Earlier in the group stage, Japan came from behind to beat Vietnam 4-2. 카지노사이트 Iraq defeated Indonesia 3-1.
Ahead of the clash between the two teams, which is seen as a decisive match for first place in Group D, Moriyasu has called for the return of Kubo, who came on as a late substitute against Vietnam to “warm up”.
Moriyasu briefly answered “yes” to the question “Is Gubo available” after attending the pre-match press conference against Iraq at the Doha Media Center in Qatar on the 18th. He also said earlier in the interview, “The players showed good concentration in training after the match against Vietnam. They are well prepared. I think we can play better.”
The Japanese team actually faced a lot of criticism immediately after the Vietnam game. After Takumi Minamino opened the scoring in the 11th minute of the first half, the Japanese team conceded two goals from Vietnamese set pieces and came from behind.
When asked about his team’s performance against Vietnam, Moriyasu said, “It’s natural that there are things we can’t control,” and added, “It’s right to prepare well so that we can play well. We will try to play better and show a better performance,” he said.
“Some fans expressed disappointment that we conceded two goals to Vietnam and criticized us for not putting more pressure on the opponent. “I understand all their thoughts,” he said, “but it doesn’t really matter how we prepared for the game. We just need to prepare well for the next match (after the victory),” he said, adding that he was not bothered by the criticism.
When asked if Japan is the No. 1 favorite to win the tournament, Moriyasu said, “I will leave it to the media to evaluate, but the Japanese team will work hard to win the tournament.”
“It’s true that something unexpected happened against Vietnam,” said defender Itakura Ko, who accompanied Moriyasu, “but the nature of the Asian Cup is such that things don’t always happen the way you want them to. Even in a situation like the one against Vietnam, we can harvest a lot of positives. I think we can do better in our next game.”
“The game against Iraq is very important for the group stage,” he concluded.