The team can still qualify to the Copa America Quarterfinals if they defeat Ecuador tonight at Belo Horizonte.
The Japan national team is playing in the 2019 Copa America tournament being played in Brazil.
And with the last match of the Group Stage ahead, the Samurai Blue believe they can still qualify, but they have to go defeat Ecuador first.
“Ecuador consists with very talented players and they are capable of showcasing a very aggressive defense,” said Japanese coach Moriyasu Hajime to the nation’s official website.
“Their offense can penetrate the open space with great speed, so we must stay alerted at all times.”
“We will enter the match with the intention to evade their pressure while displaying our strong points,” he added.
“In order to improve on our previous two performances, the players must focus on keeping a good distance between each other, while making the necessary adjustments on the field depending on the game flow.
“It is an honor to be given the opportunity to play in a tournament like the Copa America,” defender Ueda Naomichi commented.
“It gives us a rare occasion to face the top players in the world, and I feel so fortunate to be here.”
He explained: “We will enter our next match with the full intention to make it through to the knockout stage and we will go all-in tomorrow.”
“We believe in our offense that they will score goals for us, so the defense must keep a clean sheet whatever it takes.”
— jfa_en (@jfa_en) June 24, 2019