Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu has praised his opposite number Park Hang-seo as the Samurai Blue prepare to face Vietnam in the quarterfinals of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 on Thursday.
Moriyasu’s Japan progressed to the quarterfinals after defeating Saudi Arabia in the Round of 16 while Vietnam needed penalty shootouts to overcome Jordan and taste their first success in the knockout stages of the competition.
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And Moriyasu has been impressed by the displays of the Golden Dragons in the Asian Cup so far. “The head coach [Park] is building a good team and they have very good results in international tournament. The previous coach [Toshiya] Miura was Japanese and also had good results,” he said.
“We respect Vietnam, but at the same time we will do our best to make sure we win,” Moriyasu said during the news conference ahead of the last eight tie at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
Japan who have been crowned champions a record four times in the Asian Cup haven’t looked their best so far in the tournament, but the former Japan midfielder is confident his team is on course to win a fifth championship title.
“Japan is here and we aim to win the title, but the team needs to be developed because we have some new players who are lacking experience,” he said.
Highlights – Japan vs Saudi Arabia
“We are playing each match and learning from them. We know [Thursday] will be a difficult match, but we’ll do our best and bring the confidence of having won our four matches,” the coach added.
Vietnam will enjoy an extra day for preparations compared to Japan who played Saudi only on Monday and their coach isn’t very pleased with the scheduling of Japan’s matches.
“The schedule for us is tight, but hopefully the players are mentally and physically recovered, and well prepared for the game against Vietnam. We have one day less than Vietnam but that’s the tournament regulations. We hope the players recover as much possible,” said Moriyasu who won the tournament as a player back in 2002.