Kagawa: Ja­pan need to show pa­tience and va­ri­ety

New Straits Times - - Sport -

TOKYO: Ja­pan will need re­silience and va­ri­ety to claim a third suc­ces­sive World Cup qual­i­fy­ing vic­tory when they host Thai­land to­day, Dort­mund mid­fielder Shinji Kagawa has said.

Ja­pan are un­beaten in their last five qual­i­fiers to sit sec­ond in Asian Group B, level on 13 points with lead­ers Saudi Ara­bia with four games re­main­ing, while Thai­land are bot­tom of the stand­ings on just a sin­gle point.

The home side are fully ex­pected to pick up three points against an out­classed Thai side in Saitama.

“I don’t think they will be easy to break down at all,” the 28year-old Kagawa was quoted as say­ing by Ky­odo news. “We will need va­ri­ety.

“Dur­ing these World Cup qual­i­fiers, we’ve strug­gled to open up teams who sit back on us. We need to be on the same wave­length when we’re try­ing to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for our­selves.”

Kagawa, who started in Ja­pan’s 2-0 win over United Arab Emi­rates last week, felt that the squad was ben­e­fit­ing from an in­crease in the fight for start­ing places.

“The com­pe­ti­tion within the squad is tough now. No one is as­sured of a place and if you don’t per­form when you’re picked, you won’t be rated,” he added.

“The most im­por­tant thing right now is to qual­ify for the World Cup... But I have to find a way to show what I can do while mak­ing sure we qual­ify.” Reuters

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