Japan and Saudi Arabia have promised to make football the ultimate winner as they joined for a thrilling Round of 16 encounters at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup at the Sharjah Stadium, today. With seven titles between them, Japan holds the edge with four while living up to expectations as one of the strongest teams in the continental.
It was the third victory for Saudi Arabia as they edged out the hosts in the penalty shoot-out. Last time the AFC Asian Cup was played in the UAE.
Saudi Arabia’s coach Juan Antonio Pizzi said that “That loss did nothing to us, except bring us together as a team. We are here for each other in good times and in bad and tomorrow our focus will be to win and advance towards writing our own bit of history.”
Pizzi further added, “People may say that I am speaking in thin air. But I am here to tell you that you can expect a huge surprise tomorrow. In the past few days, I have impressed on my players that their destiny in this competition is in their hands.”
Praising about Japanese he said that the Samurai are traditionally seen as favorites at every competition and quoted asserting, “Japan is the yardstick for football in Asia. It is going to be a matter of life and death and I expect each of my players to do what is needed to win against possibly the strongest team in Asia.”
Though Japan has already finished three matches with maximum points, Japan’s coach Hajime Moriyasu is not taking the Green Falcons lightly.
Hajime Moriyasu said, “What has happened in the group stages is behind us now. The next most important assignment is our match against Saudi Arabia. They are a young team. They are a strong team, but we have our plan ready to tackle them and advance.”