Halilhodzic unsatisfied with Japan’s attack

Halilhodzic unsatisfied with Japan’s attack

Vahid Halilhodzic has demanded even more from Japan’s attack, stating he was unsatisfied with their goal output in their 3-0 win against Cambodia.

The Samurai Blue dominated from start to finish during the World Cup qualifying Group E match on Thursday, earning Halilhodzic his first win as coach.

But following his side’s struggles in front of goal at the East Asian Cup, and in their first qualification match against Singapore before, the Bosnian is calling for a greater response still.

“We could have scored a few more goals,” he told reporters after the match. “I’m not happy that we only scored three with as many chances as we made. We can be more effective. 

“We wanted a win and we earned it. The players felt a little pressure but fought well. At some points today we were unlucky, but we should have finished more of our chances.”

Hotaru Yamaguchi has featured regularly under Halilhodzic, and the Cerezo Osaka midfielder is hoping he can continue growing from strength to strength helping with the team’s attack. 

“We could have scored more goals,” the 24-year-old reflected. [Cambodia] played very conservatively and we needed to play with precision in order to break their wall down. 

“I want to improve at taking mid-ranged shots. If I don’t increase the accuracy of my kicks then it will be harder for me to score goals in this sort of game.”

Nevertheless, Masato Morishige insisted Japan are on the right track before their clash against Afghanistan next Tuesday, saying: “Getting those was the most important thing.

“We were able to reflect on what we learned from the match against Singapore, and win here as a result.”