Doha: Hajime Moriyasu believes Japan’s progress to the knockout rounds of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 can give football in Asia a major boost after the Samurai Blue handed former champions Spain and Germany group stage defeats to progress to the last 16.
A 2-1 victory over Spain at the Khalifa International Stadium on Thursday took Japan to the top of Group E ahead of Luis Enrique’s side and saw Germany, the four-time FIFA World Cup winners, eliminated despite their 4-2 success over Costa Rica.
The Japanese had also beaten the Germans in the opening round and Moriyasu’s side will now face 2018 FIFA World Cup runners-up Croatia on Monday for a first-ever place in the quarter-finals.
Heroic Japan stun Spain to book knockout stage berth
Doha: Japan will play Croatia in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 after Hajime Moriyasu’s side pulled off a dramatic 2-1 come-from-behind win over Spain to top Group E at the Khalifa International Stadium on Friday.
Two goals in three minutes early in the second half from Ritsu Doan and Ao Tanaka earned Japan the three points after Alvaro Morata had put the Spanish in front in the 11th minute as the Samurai Blue claimed a second win in three games.
Japan will now meet Croatia on Monday, while Spain will play Morocco with four-time champions Germany eliminated despite their 4-2 win over Costa Rica, who also went out of the competition.
Al Rayyan: Paulo Bento does not believe his absence from the sidelines will have a negative impact on his Korea Republic side as they attempt to salvage their hopes of advancing to the knockout rounds of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 against Portugal on Friday.
The Koreans need to win to have any hope of progressing from Group H but Bento will be forced to watch from the stands at Education City Stadium having received a red card from referee Anthony Taylor in the aftermath of his side’s 3-2 loss against Ghana on Monday.
Doha: Australia will put their bodies on the line to stop Lionel Messi and spring a surprise against Argentina in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 last 16, tough-tackling Milos Degenek warned on Thursday.
The defender, who made his FIFA World Cup debut in Australia's 1-0 group win over Denmark on Wednesday, said Messi is his hero but all sentiments will be thrown aside when they meet on Saturday.
'Home ground' experience took Australia through, says Arnold
Doha: Graham Arnold credited Australia’s extensive experience of the Qatari conditions for his side’s 1-0 victory over Denmark on Wednesday that moved the Socceroos into the last 16 of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
Mathew Leckie’s solo effort with an hour on the clock was the difference between the teams and the win sealed the runners-up berth in Group D for the Australians, taking the team through to the next phase for the first time since 2006 with two-time champions Argentina awaiting.
The win was Australia’s latest in Qatar after playing in the country during the AFC Asian Qualifiers - Road to Qatar™ before securing their place at the Finals in a pair of playoffs against the United Arab Emirates and Peru that were hosted in Doha in June.
Renard admits Mexico deserved victory as Saudi Arabia make exit
Lusail: Herve Renard admitted the better team won as Saudi Arabia exited the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 after a 2-1 defeat to Mexico on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia went into their final Group C tie at the Lusail Stadium knowing a win would take them into the knockout stage but found Mexico too hot to handle as they ended their campaign with three points.