DOHA - Qatar coach Bruno Metsu has
described their Asian Cup quarter-final opponents Japan as the
Barcelona of Asia and suggested you need a computer to beat
The hosts are aiming to reach the last four of the
tournament for the first time but face a difficult task against
the three-times Asian Champions who ruthlessly dispatched Saudi
Arabia 5-0 in their final group game on Monday.
"We are preparing ourselves to meet one of the best teams in
Asia," the French coach told reporters before Friday's match at
the Al Gharafa Stadium.
"Looking at their match against Saudi Arabia, you could call
them the Barcelona of Asia. We can't compare what happened
against the Saudis to our match though as they had already been
"They're well organised and disciplined. Sometimes you feel
like you'd need a computer to beat Japan."
Barcelona's passing and pressing tactics have drawn
widespread admiration and Metsu may have been overly kind to
Japan by comparing the two teams but the Blue Samurai have
certainly improved after their opening draw with Jordan.
"We took our chances in the match (against Saudi Arabia) and
at the same time, our opponents attacked us, so they left space
for us," Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said.
"Secondly, we sped up our performance, and the content of
our performances is getting better and better.
"I hope we play even better than in our three previous
matches against Qatar. We can't just evaluate ourselves based on
the match against the Saudis. We just need to focus on Qatar."
Friday's second quarter-final between Uzbekistan and Jordan
at the Khalifa Stadium offers the victors the
opportunity to reach the Asian Cup semi-finals for the first
Jordan will contest only their second Asian Cup
quarter-final and are making a surprise appearance in the
knockout stages having come through Group B, featuring Japan and
Saudi Arabia, unbeaten.
Their Iraqi coach Adnan Hamed remained confident that his
team ranked 107th in the world can overcome the loss of three
injured players, captain Hatem Aqel, defender Bashar Bani Yaseen
and Odai Ai Saify, and the suspended Basem Fathi.
"We have reached this quarter final and we deserved that on
merit as we played very well. We are facing a very strong team
in Uzbekistan and we are very confident. I have confidence and
trust in my players," he said.
Uzbekistan have produced some slick football and go into the
match as favourites but their coach Vadim Abramov was wary of
the good fortune Jordan enjoyed during their win over Syria when
they were gifted an own-goal equaliser.
"Jordan is a good dangerous team, a very lucky team that can
play football," he said.
"(I'm a) bit afraid because sometimes there is no chance
(for them) to score but they score, maybe somebody help them
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