Hajime Moriyasu urges Japan players to 'take game to Oman' in Asian Cup Group F match
Japan laboured to a 3-2 win over Turkmenistan in their opener while Oman lost to Uzbekistan
Japan will be looking to put their name in the hat for the knockout stages with victory over Oman Sunday with manager Hajime Moriyasu challenging his players to channel the same intensity that saw them overcome a disappointing opening 45 minutes to beat Turkmenistan last week.
The 2011 winners trailed in their Group F opener before eventually working through the gears in the second half to grind out a 3-2 win.
“We faced some difficulty against Turkmenistan and tomorrow, it will be the same against Oman. We know that every game will be difficult but the key is to adapt,” Moriyasu said.
“We will have a gameplan and I would like it if we dominate but if we can’t, we must be able to change our approach. It is important that we play with the intention of taking the game to Oman.
“The players must be focused and, more importantly, able to change our style if there is a need.”
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With Oman needing a victory of their own to stand any chance of qualifying for the last 16 manager Pim Verbeek said his players will show no fear against one of Asian football’s powerhouses.
“We are looking forward to playing probably one of the best teams in Asia. They are a big team, experienced, played in the World Cup six months ago and now have brought in new talent. We are excited to be playing them,” the Ducthman said of the meeting at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Sports City.
“We won’t fear them as we need the points after being so unlucky against Uzbekistan.”
Verbeek conceded the three-time champions of Asia are superior in terms of big tournament epxerience, but was confident his players can exploit any chinks in Japan’s armour.
“We must capitalise on Japan’s weaknesses, if there is any. The players have watched the match against Turkmenistan and they will go into the match fully aware of what we need to do for the three points.”
In Sunday’s other matches, Uzbekistan, buoyed by their 2-1 win over Oman in Sharjah last time out, can also seal their qualification as one of Group F’s top two with victory over Turkmenistan, while North Korea face Qatar in Group E.
Updated: January 13, 2019 08:08 AM