Asian Teams Can Win On The World Stage, Says Moriyasu| MENAFN.COM

Tuesday, 31 January 2023 05:35 GMT

Asian Teams Can Win On The World Stage, Says Moriyasu


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) #qatar 2022 #world cup teams fawad hussain | The Peninsula

Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu has said his Samurai Blue have proved Asian teams have the capability to shine at the global stage by causing two major upsets already at the FIFA World Cup.

The former Asian champions fought back from a goal down to shock 2010 champions Spain 2-1 to top their group on Thursday, eight days after their stunning victory over four-time winners Germany in their opening match. 

“For Asia as a whole, and for Japan, our victories over Spain and Germany, two of the top teams in the world, are something that will give us great confidence and we are very pleased,” Moriyasu was quoted as saying by AFC.com. 

“There are many things we have to learn, but Asians can win on the world stage. Japan can win on the world stage. All the people involved in football in Asia, as well as in Japan, can share our happiness.”

After Alvaro Morata's goal in the first half dominated by Spain, Japan made a remarkable comeback in the second half, scoring through Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka inside three minutes soon after the break.

But Tanaka's winner was highly controversial after referee relied on VAR to decide Kaoru Mitoma had kept the ball in play by the finest of margins to set the midfielder up.

“We were just playing to win,” said Moriyasu. 

“We think our intent materialised as a goal, whether the ball was out or not there's great technology in major football and if it was really out there would've been a goal kick.

“The judgement of the referee was that it was in. We were willing to accept it either way but the final judgement was that it was in.”

The coach hailed his side that bounced back after suffering a shock loss to Costa Rica following their win over fancied Germany. 

“The players were able to turn a page since the game with Costa Rica and prepared well for this match. We could play as one and we could increase the probability of a win,” he said. 

Japan have been receiving overwhelming backing from their fans during their games and the coach said the team owed win against Spain to their supporters. 

“We are gifting this win to the people of Japan and we're very happy about it,” he said. 

Enrique 'not happy at all'

Luis Enrique said prior to the match that Spain must beat Japan to top the group and he was disappointed on“five minutes of total lack of control” after dominating the first half against the Asians. 

“We had already said at half-time to be careful with Japan. As soon as we started we went into collapse mode. I have nothing to celebrate, I'm not happy at all,” the Spain coach said.“They scored two goals against us, and if they had needed to score two more, then they would have scored them too, I'm sure.” 

At one stage, Spain were under threat of elimination when Costa Rica were leading Germany 2-1 before Hansi Flick's side fought back. 

“I didn't know because I was focused on my game, I didn't speculate. If I found out, I'd have a heart attack,” said Enrique.

Commenting on Japan's second goal, he said:“I have seen a photo that must have been tampered with, it cannot be that this photo is real. It has to be manipulated.”

Enrique said Spain must recover from the loss to get ready for Tuesday's last-16 clash against Morocco, who topped Group F. 

“We have to recover emotionally. We have to prepare as much as possible, because there will be 16 teams left and we have to improve. It's going to be very difficult,” he said.

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