Disappointed Japanese national team players were trying to stay positive Wednesday night in light of their surprising 1-0 loss to Bahrain in World Cup qualifying in Manama.
It was the first loss in seven matches for the Asian giants under new manager Takeshi Okada, but it left the team three points adrift of Bahrain in Asian Group B of qualifying for South Africa 2010.
Japan conceded in the 77th minute to an Ala’a Qiu Qiu Online Hubail header after goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi made a mess of an attempted punch of an Ismail Abdullatif cross. The ball fell kindly to Hubail, who nodded it over Kawaguchi as defender Yuji Nakazawa vainly attempted to prevent the shot from crossing the line.
“In the dressing room after the game the talk was all about what we need to do in our next games. We have to stay positive,” said Nagoya Grampus striker Keiji Tamada. “Of course, we can’t dismiss what happened today. We have to learn our lessons and correct them.”
Japan struggled to find any kind of rhythm and looked confused and apprehensive going forward in a new-look 3-5-2 formation.
The players admitted the 33 degree heat and state of the pitch …Read more →