Japan began their journey in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers with a shocking goal-less draw against Singapore. More than 55,000 Japanese fans in Saitama Stadium looked disappointed with the draw despite having more shots as well as possession against the Lions. It was definitely an all-out attack for the Samurai Blues as they keep on pressuring and attacking to find goals that will win it for Japan. However, Singaporean goalkeeper, Izwan Mahbud was impressive in the match as well, saving shots from the Japanese attackers, deserving of the man-of-the-match award.
There were many opportunities for the Samurais to open the lead especially from Keisuke Honda, whose free kick in the 72nd minute which was hit off the post, as well as the header delivered by Kosuke Ota from the corner by the AC Milan’s man, but was denied off the line by a spectacular save from the Singaporean star of the night.
In conclusion, it was a disappointing result for Japan as well as their coach, Vahid Halilhodzic, to have drawn against the Asian underdogs. Japan’s next game will be home to Cambodia on 3rd September.
Japan: Eiji Kawashima, Ota Kasuke, Hiroki Sakai, Makino Tomoaki, Maya Yoshida, Makoto Hasebe (C), Usami Takashi (Yoshinori Muto 78′), Gaku Shibasaki (Genki Haraguchi 70′), Keisuke Honda, Shinji Kagawa (Yuya Osako 61′), Shinji Okazaki
Singapore: Izwan Mahbud, Shaiful Esah, Baihakki Khaizan (Firdaus Kasman 80′), Madhu Mohana, Nazrul Nazari, Zulfahmi Arifin, Hariss Harun, Izzdin Shafiq, Hafiz Sujad, Fazrul Nawaz (Yasir Hanapi 90+1′), Khairul Amri (Khairul Nizam 85′)
Picture Source: ESPN