Honda: We need to play better

Japanese attacking midfielder Keisuke Honda believes that the national team need to raise their game even though they beat Cambodia 3-0 in their 2018 World Cup qualifier on Thursday. 

After their first qualifier against Singapore ended as a 0-0 draw in June, Japan looked more focused against Cambodia and only needed 28 minutes to take the lead courtesy of Honda's shot from 20 yards out. 

Defender Maya Yoshida doubled Japan's lead in the 50th minute before BVB Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa made up for missing an absolute sitter earlier on by firing the ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the goal in the 61st minute. 

Even though Japan walked away with a comfortable 3-0 win, Honda felt as if his side were nowhere near their best during the match. 

"We’re still not there yet, and we need to play better," Honda told reporters. "We are happy to get the win, but we can play better than that.

"We don’t have much time to practice and it’s not easy, but as much as we can we want to talk it through and improve. It’s important that we stay in good condition and give ourselves the best chance to play well."

Meanwhile, Vahid Halilhodzic was thrilled to have won his first game as Japan's manager, but conceded that Samurai Blue should have scored a lot more goals against Cambodia. 

"We scored three goals and of course we could have scored more," he said. "Hopefully in the next game we can do that.

"Our remaining games this year are all away, and we want to build on this win."

Japan's next World Cup qualifier will be against Afghanistan in Iran on September 8. 

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