Japan’s soccer team, considered to be the only real threat to South Korea’s soccer team, will play its first match of the Asian Cup.
With a recent 10-game winning streak in A matches and a whopping 45 goals, all eyes will be on the outcome of the first match.

Their opponents will be Southeast Asian powerhouse Vietnam, who were coached by Park Hang-seo until early last year.
Japan and Vietnam will meet in the first match of Group D at the Qatar Asian Cup 2023 at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday at Altumama Stadium in Doha, Qatar.

The two teams met five years ago in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), where Japan won 1-0 thanks to an early goal from Ritsu Doan.

At the next edition of the Asian Cup in Qatar, they met in the group stage.
It will be interesting to see how Japan will play against Vietnam, who are expected to play a tight defense.

While South Korea has been touted as the strongest squad ever, with players such as Son Heung-min (Tottenham), Kim Min-jae (Bayern Munich), Hwang Hee-chan (Wolverhampton), and Lee Kang-in (PSG) playing for top European teams, Japan has also been hailed as the best squad ever.



Japan is knocking on the door of the Asian Cup for the first time in 13 years after winning the tournament in Qatar in 2011.
For the tournament, Japan has called up 20 Europeans from England, Scotland, Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Belgium to make up its 26-man roster.

The remaining six are five players from Japan’s J-League and defender Shogo Taniguchi, who plays for Al Rayyan in Qatar.
There’s also Daichi Kamada, who plays for Italian giants Lazio, and last season’s top scorer in the Scottish Premiership, Kyogo Furuhashi.
On top of that, the team’s recent A-match record has been stellar, with 45 goals scored and six conceded in their last 10 games, including a closed-door trial against Jordan on September 9.

And it’s not just against Asian teams.

In September of last year, they traveled to Europe, where they demolished Panzerkorps Germany 4-1 at home, and then traveled to Belgium to take on Turkkiye 4-2.

Both teams fired their head coaches shortly after the Japan game.
That leaves Japan as the biggest threat to South Korean soccer’s bid to win its first title in 64 years.
South Korea has a core of five or six top European players.

There is a bit of a power differential between them and the rest of the team.

Japan, on the other hand, doesn’t have superstars like Son Heung-min or Kim Min-jae, but it’s also characterized by an evenly matched squad that coach Hajime Moriyasu has been rotating throughout the tournament.

This will be Japan’s first real test against Vietnam.

The Vietnamese were a force to be reckoned with under Park Hang-seo, reaching the quarterfinals of the Asian Cup and the Asian final of the World Cup, but the team has been suffering from generational measles since Park left early last year.

Frenchman Philippe Trousier, who led Japan to the round of 16 at the 2002 Korea-Japan World Cup, is taking over from Park, but his leadership is already on the chopping block. 안전토토사이트
Vietnam will play an incredibly compact defense against Japan.



It will be interesting to see how they can break through it and bring the firepower of Japanese soccer, which averages 4.5 goals per game, to Qatar.
Moriyasu and his captain, Liverpool’s Wataru Endo, spoke candidly about their goal of winning the tournament at the pre-match press conference.
Moriyasu said, “We are here to win this tournament. We will do our best in each upcoming match.

There was an earthquake in Japan in the New Year, and many people are suffering.

I hope the national soccer team can be a source of strength for those who are suffering.” “

There are seven games until the final, and each game requires a different approach.

I think all the players will be able to perform well as a team.

We will think about the seven games we have to play,” he said, making his intention to win clear.
Endo, who plays for English Premier League giants Liverpool, also made it clear that he has no other goal than to win the title.
When asked about Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp’s comment that “I hope we get out of the group stages (at the Asian Cup and African Cup of Nations) so that Endo and Mohamed Salah (Egypt) can play (Liverpool) soon,” he laughed and said, “It’s a joke from Klopp.

It’s a great honor and it means I’m needed by Liverpool.

But I’m the captain of the Japanese national team now, so I just want to win the tournament and go home.”
If South Korea and Japan finish top of their respective groups, they will meet in the final.

With the maiden voyage of what is expected to be a final showdown, Japan will be the first to cut the tape.

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