Japan doesn’t have enough players to practice

HanoiCoach Hajime Moriyasu only had 15 players to organize exercises on Hang Day Stadium on the afternoon of November 9, before the Vietnam match in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Due to the influence of Covid-19 and players competing in different parts of the world, Japan had to divide into many flights to Vietnam.

As planned, the away team will have enough troops in the training session on the evening of 9/11 at Hang Day Stadium. But the plane carrying 11 players playing football in Europe such as striker Takumi Minamino (Liverpool), full-back Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), midfielder Maya Yoshida (Sampdoria) … malfunctioned, so coach Hajime Moriyasu did not have enough number of troops.

Right-back Hiroki Sakai was also unable to train with his teammates due to a groin injury.

Sakai is an important factor, starting three of Japan’s past four matches in the final qualifying round of the 2022 World Cup. The only match he was absent from was a 1-0 victory over China.

This is the second training session of coach Moriyasu and his team, all taking place at Hang Day Stadium. At the first training session yesterday, they even had only five players.

It was not until late tonight that the players from Europe could join the army. Therefore, coach Moriyasu only had a single training session with enough squad on November 10, which was also a practice session to get used to My Dinh yard.

Japan’s number one goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda. He is on the staff of the Portuguese club Portimonense, but is on loan at Shimizu S-Pulse.

Speaking before the match, Gonda commented: “Vietnam has improved a lot. With the capacity of Vietnamese players, I think they will not defend for 90 minutes. Of course we will attack a lot, but Vietnam will not. The team must play to the death and the whole match can only create one chance. Vietnam will attack often.”

Striker Daizen Maeda stands out with a bald head. He is playing for Yokohama F Marinos and leads the scoring list of the J-League 2021 with 20 goals.

According to Maeda, in order to have a favorable position, Japan needs to score early in the match against Vietnam.

Japan only allows the media to operate in the first 15 minutes of the training session. They then closed the gate, asking the guard to keep a close watch to avoid revealing the cards.

Rated as the strongest group in Group B, Japan suddenly lost to Oman and Saudi Arabia and won only six points. For them, meeting Vietnam – the team that is at the bottom of the table – is a must-win match.

In the two times against the Vietnamese teams of Coach Park Hang-seo, Japan lost 0-1 in the group stage of ASIAD 2018 and won 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the ASIAN Cup 2019.

President of the Japan Football Association Tashima Kozo went to Hang Day Stadium to watch the team practice. After the victory over Saudi Arabia in the fourth round, he once said: “The two matches as guests of Vietnam and Oman will not be easy. The players need to show the spirit of solidarity and preparation which has always been a factor that has been emphasized since the beginning of the match. Coach Moriyasu leads Japan”.

The match between Vietnam and Japan will take place at 19:00 on Thursday 11/11 at My Dinh Stadium.

Lam Tho

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