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Halilhodzic: Japan must not fail against Thailand

Tue, 28 Mar 2017 - 23:50 JST
Halilhodzic: Japan must not fail against Thailand

Vahid Halilhodzic emphasized high expectations for Japan ahead of their key 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Thailand on Tuesday night.

A win in the friendly confines of Saitama Stadium would give the Samurai Blue a significant advantage in the Group B standings heading into their final three matches.

And Halilhodzic expects his men to capitalise on their vociferous home support to secure three vital points that will put them on the home straight to Russia 2018.

"After the UAE match I told the players that the value of this win would depend on our result against Thailand,” the coach said. 

“Many might think this will be a simple match but in fact I think it will be difficult. If we slack off even a little the result will be poor. Thailand are a good team so we have to be careful.”

Since their startling loss to UAE last September, Japan have rebounded to take 13 of 15 points and trail leaders Saudi Arabia on goal difference.

"Today I told the players that this will be an important match that could put a World Cup berth within our grasp,” Halilhodzic continued. “The players know that it's their responsibility to go and make history.

"We know the stadium will be full, there will be a dynamic atmosphere, and our supporters will help us. With all of that going for us, we must not fail.”