Monday, 28th June 2010
Japan prepare for Paraguay test
Japan head into tomorrow afternoon's (Tuesday's) last 16 World Cup encounter with Paraguay knowing they carry the hopes of Asia on their shoulders, something which coach Takeshi Okada says will inspire his team.
Okada said that it was a pity that rivals South Korea failed to make it past Uruguay at the weekend but that Japan is ready to lead Asia's charge in the final stages of the tournament, the AFP reports.
South Korean president Lee Myung Bak told his Japanese counterpart prime minister Naoto Kan at the G8 summit in Canada that he hopes Japan can perform well in the remaining games and represent the whole continent.
Speaking ahead of the game, coach Okada said: "Of course, I think we have to play with extra pride as we are now the only Asian representatives. My desire to beat Paraguay is even more resolute."
Japan won two of their three games in the qualifying stages, beating Cameroon 1-0 and Denmark 3-1.
Written by Kimberley Homer