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Moriyasu satisfied by durable Japan

Bishkek: Japan head coach Hajime Moriyasu had few complaints after his side continued their perfect run in their Asian Qualifiers campaign with a 2-0 win over Kyrgyz Republic at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium on Thursday.

Facing the second-highest seed in the group against the backdrop of a chilly Bishkek evening, goals from Takumi Minamino and Genki Haraguchi either side of half-time helped the Samurai Blue seal what was ultimately a convincing win; their fourth in succession without conceding a goal in the Asian Qualifiers.

Speaking after the game, Moriyasu said he had been impressed by his side’s ability to achieve the result which took them a step closer to the next round of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 qualifying campaign.

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“There were a number of errors on the field due to the surface of the pitch, but despite this, the players were patient, tenacious and tough, and were able to produce a strong performance,” said Moriyasu.

“I would like to move on to the next step and continue to improve our performance even more by controlling the game.”

While Japan have claimed a number of easy victories so far this campaign – particularly the 6-0 success over Mongolia on Matchday Two – there were some nervous moments against an improving Kyrgyz Republic side, who were cheered on by a capacity crowd.

Moriyasu admitted it was a different challenge to Japan’s previous battles in the group, and he was complimentary towards Alexander Krestinin’s side.

This game is slightly different from the usual games, which we have seen so far this time,” said Moriyasu. “It took us a longer time to score the first goal.

“Since the last time we played with the Kyrgyz Republic team (in November 2018), of course, we assumed that they would prepare and be stronger, and those assumptions were justified. I believe that the Kyrgyz side has power and a specific technique, and in the future, we will definitely take these points into account."

“The Kyrgyz team actually had the opportunity to score several times. They really had a good opportunity to score a goal. They also showed their strengths and if they continue to develop, then I think everything will be fine (for them).”

Now six points clear on top of Group F, Japan will face Venezuela in a friendly match on Tuesday, before resuming their Asian Qualifiers campaign next March.

Photos: Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic

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