Substitute Morita gets it done

Japan’s substitutions hit the spot. Hidemasa Morita (Sporting), an emergency injury call-up, scored the opening goal for Japan in the quarterfinals against Iran.

Hajime Moriyasu’s Japan national soccer team faced Iran in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Asian Cup at the Education City Stadium on Wednesday (ET).

Moriyasu made a few changes to his starting lineup, including replacing Hatate’s injury absence with Morita, who can switch between 4-1-4-1 and 4-3-3.

Ayase Ueda (Feyenoord) is still the center front. In the second line, Daizen Maeda (Celtic) on the left and Doan Ritz (Freiburg) on the right. Maeda made his first start of the tournament, replacing Keito Nakamura (Stade de Reims).

Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad) and Morita provided central support. Leo Hatate (Celtic) had been partnering Kubo, but suffered a right calf injury in the last 16, handing the baton to Morita. Captain Wataru Endo (Liverpool), who has been the anchor, 온라인카지노 is still the link between the front and back.

Hiroki Ito (Stuttgart) and Seiya Maikuna (Cerezo Osaka) are the left and right wingbacks.

Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal) and Ko Itakura (Borussia Mönchengladbach) were in charge of the central defense. Shion Suzuki (Sint-Truiden) wore the goalkeeping gloves. In the end, compared to the Round of 16 match against Bahrain, Nakayama, Hatate, and Nakamura returned to the bench, while Ito, Morita, and Maeda were given a chance to start.

With Japan ranked 17th and Iran 21st in the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) rankings, a showdown between Asia’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams was realized in the quarterfinals. Japan had previously met Iran in the semifinals of the 2019 UAE Asian Cup, winning 3-0.

With this confidence, Japan went into the match optimistic of victory. Iran, on the other hand, came into the match with some concerns after frontline striker Mehdi Taremi was sent off for accumulating cautions in the Round of 16 match against Syria.

From the kickoff, Japan predictably drew up a line in the sand and went on the offensive. However, Iran matched them with physicality and speed, creating a tense battle. After a few back-and-forth exchanges, Iran threatened first in the 12th minute. Jahanbakhsh sent a chill down Japan’s spine when his right-footed shot from the left flank just cleared the crossbar. In the 17th minute, Ezzatollahi’s left-footed mid-range shot went straight at the Japanese goalkeeper.

Iran’s offense didn’t last long.

Having gained possession in earnest, Japan began to harass Iran with quick passing and space penetration.

It paid off in the 27th minute. Morita picked up a loose ball from Ueda in the midfield and quickly made a diagonal run into the arc area, 에볼루션 바카라사이트 completely neutralizing three opposing defenders.

Morita then fired a right-footed shot that Iranian goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand stretched out her right foot but could not prevent the bouncing ball from hitting her foot and finding the back of the net.

Iran then hit the ground running, missing one chance after another. In the 39th minute, Saman Godos’s decisive diagonal shot flew just wide of the right post, and in the 42nd minute, following a side cross, Munjeon Azmoun stretched out his legs to head home but was a beat too late.

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