A regular presence at the World Cup – this is already the seventh consecutive tie, not missing a World Cup since 1998 – the truth is that Japan is still looking for a truly significant result. The round of 16 in 2002, 2010 and 2018 showed the best the Japanese team can do but they still fall short for a team that dominates at the continental level and seeks another impact at the international level.
Hajime Moriyasu took charge of Japan right after the World Cup in Russia, where he was assistant to Akira Nishino, and he led the team to the final of the Asian Cup with an illuminating victory against Iran in the semi-finals. In the final match, however, the Japanese lost the trophy to Qatar, in a loss that marked the country’s first defeat in a continental final.
In Qatar, after an unfavorable draw that put Japan in the same group as two recent world champions, Hajime Moriyasu’s team will look to beat Costa Rica and hope for a stroke of luck to seal their qualification to the round of 16. In between, Morita, Sporting’s midfielder, will have one of the first great showcases to demonstrate why he deserved the lions’ bet during the summer.
This article is exclusive to our subscribers: subscribe now and benefit from unlimited reading and other benefits. If you are already a subscriber, log in here. If you think this message is an error, please contact our customer service.
World Teams 2022
- Costa Rica