soccer

Japan ride luck at Asian Cup as Qatar hit six

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By Alastair HIMMER

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© 2019 AFP

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Japan were unlucky to have missed some close early chances.

But the 70% of the game I saw, they didn't look like Asia Champions at all.

And the 2 glaring ref errors were uncomfortable to see.

Haraguchi brought down by nothing, proving diving can still win a game.

And the clear as day handball of Nagatomo went unpenalized.

That's soccer - unfortunately in this hi-tech sports world.

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Leaving Kagawa out of this team was probably one of the worse ideas Coach Moriyasu had.  Yes, Kagawa has not had much actual playing time against other opponents because his position is the same as the team captain's.  And by chance, this year, Marco Reus has not gotten injured and is playing extremely well.  He is a candidate for the Ballon d'Or (the best footballer in the world).  Kagawa was playing just as well and sometimes better sometimes worse than Reus.  Moriyasu should understand, as long as Reus does not get injured, Kagawa will not have many chances to play in a real game, especially since they are sitting in 1st place in the German League.  No one wants to adjust a line-up of a winning team.  But, Moriyasu should definitely realize that doesn't mean Kagawa is not playing well.  If Reus did get injured like other years, Kagawa could be the player that is on the list of best footballer in the world.  Well, he definitely could be playing better than the majority of Japanese players I saw playing in the Asia Cup so far.  If Japan gets eliminated, which seems likely if Moriyasu doesn't request Kagawa's help soon, he really should be replaced.  Record looks okay, watch the games and you know the team lacks experience.  Lots of speed, no experience.  Result = Go home.

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