DOHA: Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu said that his side’s 2-1 win over Spain was a moment that would make Asian football proud.
The win, which came thanks to goals from Ritsu Doan and Ano Takana at the start of the second half, saw Japan qualify for the last 16 as winners of Group E, and they will now play Croatia.
Japan’s win means they have beaten both Spain and Germany in the group stage.
“For Asia as a whole and Japan as well, our wins over Spain and Germany: two of the top sides in the world, will give us great confidence,” said Moriyasu.
“There are many things we can learn, but Asia can win in the World Stage –Japan can win on the World Stage. I think all of the people in Asia will share our happiness,” he said.
The coach also discussed the halftime turnaround, saying he had been satisfied at halftime as his side trained 1-0
“At half time, I told the players that things were going to plan and they had done well. We made two substitutions (Doan and Kaoru Mitoma) and looked to play on the break. We looked to attack more,” he said.
“We persevered and persisted in the first half, and in the second half, we are able to benefit from that effort,” he commented.