Aguirre: We start from zero

Samurai Blue beat Jordan 2-0 on Tuesday to ensure that they topped Group D with a maximum nine points from the group stages, with the defending champions making a strong start to the competition.

Next on the agenda is a clash with United Arab Emirates on Friday. The UAE ended their group stage campaign with a loss to Iran, but Aguirre says that little can be read into the two teams' form ahead of a knockout clash.

“From my experience in the Copa America, the World Cup and the Gold Cup, our chances are the same as the other seven teams; we start from zero from now,” said Aguirre.

“We must fight in the 90 minutes of each game and respect our opponents and hope to continue as we have done.”

Playmaker Omar Abdulrahman has won rave reviews for the UAE, but Aguirre believes that it would be misplaced for his side to focus on just one member of the opposition.

“I have watched the UAE’s games and I think he (Abdulrahman) is a wonderful player and European teams are looking at his high level play, but one player can’t win games,” he said.

“The UAE won as a team and we hope to take care of him the same as other players.”