Japan are already favourites to reach the World Cup 2018 even before the qualification campaign is yet to begin.
The national team may have been disappointing at the previous World Cup, but they have so far look extremely good under the management of Vahid Halilhodzic. The Bosnian watched his team get a 4-0 win over Iraq in a friendly match. This friendly is a good preparation for the team ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against Singapore. This is the first qualification match and a good result is an important aspect. The national team will also be hoping to put behind the disappointing quarter-final exit at the Asian cup.
The fact that the team managed to beat semifinalist at the Asian cup – Iraq – so convincingly, even if it was a friendly match, is something that provide will a lot of boost. Keisuke Honda opened the scoring and Tomoaki Makino chipped in with another goal all inside 10 minutes. This immediately put the pressure on Iraq, who completely folded in response. Shinji Okazaki came up with the third goal for Japan before substitute Genki Haraguchi also joined in the fun. It was a great game and one that could potentially see Japan make a strong start to the World Cup qualification.
“My team played a superb match. We were very effective and the defense’s positioning was very good. The players performed at a high level, although we should maybe have scored more goals.It was a good win and I want to thank the players,” said the manager, who has managed a win in all three matches that he has overseen since taking over. “We made a great start and gave a good performance. I was able to play the way I am capable of and it’s good to be involved in the goals,” said Usami.