“I want to pursue my dream of becoming world No. 1,” says Japanese coach

Japan national soccer team head coach Hajime Moriyasu emphasizes the future.

The Japan national soccer team lost 1-2 against Iran in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asia Cup Qatar 2023 at the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan, Qatar on Wednesday (July 3).

Japan scored the first goal to take the lead. In the 27th minute, the ball was played forward from the back and Ueda found Morita. Morita drove the ball into the box, stripped one defender, and scored with a right-footed shot.

However, Japan gave the momentum to Iran after the first goal. Iran’s physical long-ball tactics rattled Japan’s defense, and they eventually equalized in the ninth minute of the second half. Azmoun found Mohebi in the back of the Japanese defense, who scored the equalizer with a neat right-footed shot.

After the equalizer, Japan continued to dominate, but the worst happened in stoppage time. Itakuri, who was involved in the first goal, fouled Kanani inside the penalty box and a penalty kick (PK) was awarded. Jahanbakhsh stepped up to the plate and converted the spot kick to send Iran through to the quarterfinals.

It’s a shocking loss for Japan. Japan was mentioned as the favorite to win the tournament. They were always the favorite to win the tournament according to various statistical sites. However, they were unable to overcome their nemesis Iran in the quarterfinals.

After the game, Moriyasu said, “I apologize to everyone involved in the Japanese national team. I feel responsible. The staff and players did their best, but as 파워볼사이트 a coach, I was unable to translate their efforts into results. Iran deserved to be in the final four,” he said.

Moriyasu put Itakura in the starting lineup, but he gave away a goal, while Asano and Mitoma, who came on in the second half, did not make much of an impact.”If we had won, there would have been no criticism of Itakura. I had faith in the team to do well against Iran. We didn’t utilize the substitutions well. I’m disappointed.”

Nevertheless, Moriyasu was confident and emphasized the next step. “The Asia Cup is over now. We want to build up our strength to win the qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup in North and Central America and move on to the big goal of being No. 1 in the world.”


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