Tag: Hajime Moriyasu

Japan’s Ito out of the squad following sexual assault allegations.

【Doha 2nd Feb】In response to reports of allegations of sexual assault, midfielder Junya ITO (30 years old Stade de Reims player, who announced his withdrawal from the Japan national team for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 in Qatar on the previous day, canceled the decision and officially decided to withdraw on this day 3rd February. Coach Hajime MORIYASU (55) of the Japan National Team announced the decision.

He took the stage at the press conference before the quarterfinal match against Iran. From the first question, I was asked about Ito by the foreign media.

“I wanted to stand with Junya ITO until the end of this tournament and fight together to win the championship, but after discussions, the JFA (Japan Association) decided that it is best to withdraw him from the tournament as a result of his desire, and they agreed, and it was decided that he would leave tomorrow’s match without playing with us.”

“In terms of the impact on the team, he is a player who has contributed to the team’s fight to win so far, so it hurts and I feel sorry for him, but I want to think about his physical and mental health. We have some great players left, so I’m not worried at all about the fact that they will be able to play as hard as they can in tomorrow’s match against Iran.”

“I’ve been talking to him about his health, but I don’t think he’s in a state of mind where he’s going to play football at high intensity. We will do our best to support you. We’ll see how he can perform at the top as soon as possible.”

The newspaper Lunion, a local newspaper in Reims, France published comments from Stade Reims coach Still and Ito’s teammate goalkeeper Yevan Diouf.

The newspaper explained how Ito left the Japan national team and said, “Reims coach Still showed a cautious attitude when questioned at a press conference on Friday (2nd), two days after the match against Toulouse on Sunday (4 p.m.). “As long as I don’t have contact with him (Ito), I don’t have much to say,” the coach was quoted as saying.

According to the newspaper, Still said: “We will follow the statement issued by the club, we are waiting to see what is going on, but we do not know enough to give an opinion. I haven’t seen Junya for a month and I don’t know what happened at all,” he said at a press conference.

The newspaper also referred to goalkeeper Diouf’s remarks. Diouf told a press conference: “We hope he (Ito) is innocent because this is serious. The presumption of innocence must be considered. Unless there is a verdict, it cannot be said whether he is innocent or guilty. When he returns, he will be greeted as usual. The situation is delicate for everyone, but it’s best for the courts to do their job. I have nothing else to comment on.”

Japan’s Achilles Heel

Doha (AFP) – Japan’s Asian Cup risks being fatally undermined by coach Hajime Moriyasu’s reliance on an error-prone rookie goalkeeper and he has left himself with no convincing alternatives.

Japan goalkeeper Zion Suzuki has struggled at the Asian Cup in Qatar
The pre-tournament favourites face Iran on Saturday in the quarter-finals but serious questions hang over 21-year-old Zion Suzuki, whose confidence looks shot.

Japan have yet to keep a clean sheet in Qatar and the goalkeeper’s mistakes have cost them at least one goal in every game so far.

Suzuki, whose father is Ghanaian-American and mother Japanese, has been racially abused online.

But even if Moriyasu wanted to take Suzuki out of the firing line, he has left himself with two backups who have only one international cap between them.

The coach is paying the price for failing to settle on a number one before the tournament and now faces a decision whether to stick or twist against Iran.

Suzuki, in his eighth appearance for Japan, was involved in a mix-up with a team-mate that led to an own goal in the 3-1 win over Bahrain in the last 16 on Wednesday.

Writing in Nikkan Sports, columnist Sergio Echigo said Suzuki had become “a concern”.

“He’s not so good at dealing with balls played in from the wings,” he wrote.

“If you look at these four games, his positioning, judgement, timing and hand-eye co-ordination have all been off.”

Suzuki plays for Belgian side Sint-Truiden and went into the Asian Cup with only four international appearances under his belt.

Of the two other goalkeepers in Moriyasu’s squad, Daiya Maekawa has one cap and Taishi Brandon Nozawa has yet to make his Japan debut.

The coach has used five different goalkeepers since Japan’s last-16 exit at the 2022 World Cup just over a year ago.

Of those, Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s Keisuke Osako is currently injured but Europe-based pair Daniel Schmidt and Kosuke Nakamura were left out of the Asian Cup squad.

Shuichi Gonda has not featured at all since playing for Japan at the World Cup, with Moriyasu ruling him out on the grounds that he plays in the J-League second division.
Rotating cast

Speaking after Japan qualified for the Asian Cup last 16, Moriyasu said he had made his choice based on the “past, present and future”.

“Zion has been playing regularly in Europe and I think he was the only one — he was in the best condition,” said Moriyasu.

“There are others in Europe but they weren’t getting regular games. If you look at the J-League goalkeepers, they were all in their off-season.”

Japan have never had a clearly established number one goalkeeper since Moriyasu took over in 2018.

Eiji Kawashima played at three World Cups and hung on to compete with Gonda and Schmidt for the starting job in the 2022 edition.

Now Moriyasu finds himself with an inexperienced group to choose from as Japan chase a record-extending fifth Asian Cup.

He made Suzuki his number one only two games before the tournament kicked off.

“If I asked everyone to choose who is the number one, two and three, I think everyone would have a different answer,” said Moriyasu.

Suzuki has faced up to his critics, accepting that he is “held to a higher standard” as Japan’s number one.

The columnist Echigo said that Suzuki should “practise penalties because that’s how Japan went out of the World Cup.

“With penalties the ball comes straight at you, so maybe that’s where Suzuki’s strengths lie.”

ایران و جابان شنبه ساعت 15 براب هم کار کرین کریت.

Iran vs Japan : Head to Head stats

Team Melli will meet Japan tomorrow for a place in the semi finals of the 18th AFC Asian Cup.

It is also the clash between the number one ranked Asian Team team and number two. The two Asian Gians have played each others 18 times since 1951 Asian Games Semi-Finals in India. Iran won the replayed match 3-2. The records is balanced with 6 wins, draws and losses each. The only advantah=ge is that Japan has a goal difference of +2.

The last time the two teams met was in the semi-final of the last AFC Asian Cup where Japan comprhensively beat Carlo Queiroz team, 3-0 in Al Ain. The last time Iran wom was back in 2005 in Azadi Stadium in the qualifiers of the FIFA World Cup 2006.

Lately, the Japanese have been the talk of the football world with their superb results against many major teams of the world. The stabilty in the coaching staff, Japanese discipline, European experinced players and the work rate of the team has made them a force to be reckoned with.

IT was a shocking result when Japan lost to Jordan i n the group stages. It was the frist loss to any team in over 15 matches.

Iran has not lost since Amir Ghalenoei took over in March 2022. Those good results of Team Melli included acomprhensive wins against teams that are alread in the quarter finals stage of the AFC Asian Cup 2023. A 4-0 and 3-1wins against win Qatar and Jordan repectively and an away draw 2-2 against Uzbekistan.

Despite being the two top teams in AFC zone by FIFA ranking, it is clear from recent results that they are are far from invincible. The match on the 3rd will be a major clash and an early final. It will also be a shrewed batte between the coaches of the two teams Hajime Moriyasu and Amir Ghalenoei.

Summary of matches

VenueMatches playedWonDrawnLostGoalsGD
Home 31205 – 4+1
Away40032 – 7-5
Neutral1153312 – 10+2
Total1866619 – 21-2


DateComp.H / A / NFinal scoreStadiumAttendance
28.01.2019Asian Cup / Semi FinalA0 – 3Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain23262
13.10.2015FriendlyH1 – 1Azadi Stadium , Tehran15000
17.08.2005World Cup Qualifier / Second RoundA1 – 2Nissan Stadium , Yokohama65000
25.03.2005World Cup Qualifier / WCQH2 – 1Azadi Stadium, Tehran120000
28.07.2004Asian Cup / Group DN0 – 0Olympics Sport Centre , Chongqing52000
11.08.1999Friendly / FriendlyA1 – 1International Stadium, Yokohama35860
16.11.1997World Cup Qualifier / Play-OffN2 – 3Larkin Stadium-Johor Bahru22000
18.10.1993World Cup Qualifier / Second RoundN2 – 1Al Khalifa Stadium , Doha15000
03.11.1992Asian Cup / Group AA0 – 1Big Arch Stadium , Hiroshima37000
01.10.1990Asian Games / Quarter FinalsN1 – 0Fengtai Sports Center-Beijing10000
20.01.1989FriendlyH2 – 2Azadi Stadium, Tehran50000
04.12.1988Asian Cup / Group 1N0 – 0Qatar FC Stadium , Doha4000
22.09.1986Asian Games / Group DN2 – 0Hanbat Stadium, Daejeon30000
20.11.1982Asian Games / Group DN0 – 1Modeltown Stadium-New Delhi10000
18.12.1966Asian Games / Semi FinalN1 – 0Tarua Football Stadium-Bangkok20000
11.12.1966Asian Games / Group BN1 – 3Chulalongkon University Stadium-Bangkok10000
08.03.1951Asian Games / Semi-Final replayN3 – 2Ambedkar Stadium -New Delhi30000
07.03.1951Asian Games / Semi FinalN0 – 0Ambedkar Stadium – New Delhi23000

Al Ain: Ahead of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 semi-final between two unbeaten giants of Asia, the-AFC.com looks at the key facts and history surrounding the eagerly-anticipated clash.

No Taremi for Team Melli

The major team news ahead of the semi-final is the enforced absence of Mehdi Taremi, who will miss Monday’s clash through suspension having collected a second yellow card against China PR.

While card trouble has cost them the Al Gharafa star, who has scored three goals in UAE 2019, the Iranians will welcome back Vahid Amiri, while Yoshinuri Muto returns from suspension for Japan.

Outstanding yellow cards were erased following the quarter-finals, meaning only a red card in Monday’s match will result in a player missing the final.

Carlos Queiroz’s Iran have become one of only three teams in history to go through their first five games at an AFC Asian Cup without conceding a goal, but the amazing record of goalkeeper Alireza Beiranvand goes back even further.

The Persepolis shot-stopper has represented his country in 20 competitive matches (including UAE 2019 and FIFA World Cup qualifiers and finals) and conceded only four goals, keeping a remarkable 17 clean sheets, with only Portugal, Spain and Syria finding a way past him.

Japan have claimed a piece of statistical history of their own in the UAE. Hajime Moriyasu’s side are the first ever to win five successive matches by a single-goal winning margin.

Asian powerhouses, divergent histories

The two sides are both Asian football powerhouses, having qualified for the past two FIFA World Cups – and in Japan’s case, every edition since 1998 – but the East Asians have had far more recent success on the continental stage.

While Iran are enjoying the excitement of being 90 minutes away from reaching the AFC Asian Cup final for the first time since 1976, Japan have been champions in four of the last seven editions, and three of the current squad were part of the victorious 2011 team.

Japan have only ever lost once at this stage of the competition, a 3-2 defeat to Saudi Arabia in 2007, which was also the last time the Samurai Blue lost any AFC Asian Cup match outside of penalty shootouts.

Despite making their first appearance in the last four since 2004, Iran have not a lost a single AFC Asian Cup match inside 90 minutes this century, with three of their previous eliminations coming from the penalty spot, and the other twp – both defeats to Korea Republic – suffered in extra time.

Unfamiliar foes

Despite their permanent presence in the latter stages of both the AFC Asian Cup and FIFA World Cup qualifying, Japan and Iran have consistently managed to avoid each other in competition draws.

It has been over a decade since their last competitive fixture, a 2-1 Samurai Blue win in 2005, while their last AFC Asian Cup clash came back in 2004 when the two sides shared the spoils in a 0-0 draw in Group D.




H / A / N Matches W D L Goals + / –
H 3 1 2 0 5 – 4 1
A 3 0 1 2 2 – 4 -2
N 11 5 3 3 12 – 10 2
Total 17 6 6 5 19 – 18 1



Date Competition H / A / N score Stadium Attendance
13.10.2015 Friendly H 1 – 1 Azadi Stadium , Tehran 15,000
17.08.2005 World Cup Qualifier A 1 – 2 Nissan Stadium , Yokohama 65,000
25.03.2005 World Cup Qualifier H 2 – 1 Azadi Stadium, Tehran 120,000
28.07.2004 Asian Cup N 0 – 0 Olympics Sport Centre , Chongqing 52,000
11.08.1999 Friendly A 1 – 1 International Stadium, Yokohama 35,860
16.11.1997 World Cup Qualifier N 2 – 3 Larkin Stadium-Johor Bahru 22,000
18.10.1993 World Cup Qualifier N 2 – 1 Al Khalifa Stadium , Doha 15,000
03.11.1992 Asian Cup A 0 – 1 Big Arch Stadium , Hiroshima 37,000
01.10.1990 Asian Games N 1 – 0 Fengtai Sports Center-Beijing 10,000
20.01.1989 Friendly H 2- 2 Azadi Stadium, Tehran 50,000
04.12.1988 Asian Cup N 0 – 0 Qatar FC Stadium , Doha 4,000
22.09.1986 Asian Games N 2 – 0 Hanbat Stadium, Daejeon 30,000
20.11.1982 Asian Games N 0 – 1 Modeltown Stadium-New Delhi 10,000
18.12.1966 Asian Games N 1 – 0 Tarua Football Stadium-Bangkok 20,000
11.12.1966 Asian Games N 1 – 3 Chulalongkon University Stadium-Bangkok 10,000
08.03.1951 Asian Games N 3 -2 Ambedkar Stadium -New Delhi 30,000
07.03.1951 Asian Games N 0 – 0 Ambedkar Stadium – New Delhi 23,000