Oct 13 (Reuters) – Under-fire Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu credited the united spirit inside his squad for placing his nation’s World Cup qualifying marketing campaign again on monitor with Tuesday’s late victory over Australia.
Moriyasu was beneath vital stress going into the sport and could possibly be seen with tears in his eyes through the pre-match nationwide anthems as hypothesis grew over his place on the helm of the staff.
But a late personal objective from Aziz Behich capped an improved efficiency from Moriyasu’s staff and earned Japan a 2-1 win over the Socceroos after two defeats of their earlier three video games.
“We’ve been preparing ourselves diligently, and that led to this result,” mentioned Moriyasu, who took over as Japan coach following the 2018 World Cup.
“We were under great pressure, but the players, coaches, the entire staff, came together as one and stood tall.”
Japan went into the sport with solely three factors having misplaced the opening sport in Asia’s last spherical of preliminaries to Oman earlier than notching up a slender win over China.
A 1-0 defeat in Jeddah final week by Saudi Arabia elevated the scrutiny on Moriyasu as Japan slipped off the tempo being set on the prime of Group B.
Only the highest two groups within the group are assured to qualify for Qatar 2022 and a loss towards the Australians would have left the Japanese 9 factors adrift of the automated berths.
An early objective from midfielder Ao Tanaka, introduced into the aspect on the expense of Gaku Shibasaki, gave Japan the proper begin, though Ajdan Hrustic’s gorgeous free kick levelled the scores till Behich’s late personal objective.
“We came in with two games against Australia that could each mean a six-point swing in the table,” Japan captain Maya Yoshida mentioned, in line with Kyodo.
“We were at least able to get the first one out of the way, now we have more work to do.”