Kobayashi: Socceroos showdown key to Russia qualification

Kobayashi: Socceroos showdown key to Russia qualification

Japan striker Yu Kobayashi says a win against Australia on Tuesday night will bring them great confidence for the rest of their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

The Samurai Blue are on the back of three consecutive wins but face arguably their biggest challenge so far against the Asian Cup champions in Melbourne.

However, Kawasaki Frontale star Kobayashi feels Japan can target a good result at Docklands Stadium in an “important” match on their road to qualifying for Russia.

“He’s [coach Vahid Halilhodzic] told us that this match will have a significant effect on whether or not we’ll appear in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, so we need to be prepared and carry out our responsibilities,” Kobayashi told reporters.

“That’s absolutely true and if we can beat Australia away it will give us a lot of confidence. This is an important match in terms of getting out of this group, and we want to prepare well.

“I think we’ve got a good mood in the squad, there’s a good sort of pressure and everyone is in full voice.

“They focus on possession and move the ball around; it’s different from my past impressions of the team.

“When it comes to passing the ball around I think Japan are stronger technically. If we can get the ball, we’ll be able to create chances.”

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