Needing a great second half to win their first AFC Asian Cup 2019 match against Turkmenistan, Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu asked the team to show the same intensity from the start when they face Oman.
The Japanese trailed 1-0 to the underdogs Turkmenistan but produced a scintillating performance in the second half to score three goals and eventually win 3-2.
With the win, they are currently atop Group F while Oman find themselves fourth after a 2-1 loss to Uzbekistan in their tournament curtain-raiser.
Speaking to AFC, Moriyasu wants the team to adapt appropriately as there are no easy matches in the competition. He revealed: “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.
“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.”
Despite losing against Uzbekistan, Moriyasu was impressed with Oman, saying: “Oman have very quick counter-attacks but can also hold the ball well too. We have to be mindful of that as they can hit us if we let our guard down.
“However, we have prepared well and I hope the players express themselves on the pitch. Ideally, I would like to seal a place in the next stage tomorrow but we must be patient, not pressure ourselves.”
On the other hand, Oman coach Pim Verbeek praised Japan as one of the best teams in Asia but claims they are not fearful of the Samurai Blue.
He said: “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.
“We won’t fear them as we need the points after being so unlucky against Uzbekistan.”
Despite the loss to Uzbekistan, their impressive performance is what they will bring to face the Japanese.
“We played very well against Uzbekistan but we were unlucky to concede so late. The players, however, have been told of what went wrong and we will face Japan with confidence.
“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.”