Sports | Jan 25

Japan Defeats Indonesia to Advance to Asian Cup Knockout Stage

Qatar, Jan 25 (News On Japan) - Japan's national soccer team faced off against Indonesia in their third match of the Asian Cup group stage, securing a 3-1 victory. With two wins and one loss, Japan finished second in Group D, thus advancing to the knockout stage of the tournament.

Coach Hajime Moriyasu reflected on the game, stating, "It was good that we were able to reflect on our match against Iraq and share within the team what we needed to do and how we needed to prepare. The players thought about how to gain an advantage while being prepared for a tough battle. They played aggressively and intelligently, which was reflected on the scoreboard. I think we were able to control the entire game." He also tightened his focus on the upcoming knockout stage, expressing, "We want to create the best possible physical and mental condition for the team to perform at its maximum. We need to clarify our goals once again and prepare to fight with all our might in the next battle."

Kisei Ueda, who contributed to the victory with two goals, said, "We were conscious as a team of reflecting on the previous game, and I think we made a good start to this match. There are still issues to address. While I want to improve on performances and play quality that I'm not satisfied with, I'm pleased that today I was able to score and win." Looking ahead to the knockout stage, he stated, "We want to prepare well to maximize our abilities."

Captain Wataru Endo commented on the team's performance, "We were conscious of our defensive transition after losing the ball. I believe that our quick switches and amount of movement allowed us to overcome our opponent, which was a key factor in our victory." He added, "The opponent was defending quite deep, so we had a lot of possession. I was particularly focused on picking up second balls in my area and being the first to defend after losing the ball in attack. I think we did that well." Endo emphasized the importance of preparation for each match in the knockout stage, "The group stage has taught us that winning against any opponent is difficult. It's important to prepare for each game to bring out our best, and I think it's crucial to continue playing like we did today."

Source: NHK


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