- Title: Japan and Iraq prepare for their World Cup qualifier
- Date: 5th October 2016
- Summary: SAITAMA, JAPAN (OCTOBER 5, 2016) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** SAITAMA STADIUM BLUE BANNER ON FLAGPOLE READING (English): "JFA" NEWS CONFERENCE FOR JAPAN'S NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM BEGINNING (SOUNDBITE) (French) VAHID HALILHODZIC, JAPAN COACH, SAYING: "It's not just about victory but we have to do everything in order to prepare for us to win." JOURNALISTS AND TEAM MEMBERS IN CONFERENCE ROOM INSIDE OF SAITAMA STADIUM VARIOUS OF PLAYERS WARMING UP BEFORE TRAINING JOURNALISTS TAKING PHOTOGRAPHS VARIOUS OF TEAM RUNNING TOGETHER BALLS ON GROUND GOALKEEPER EIJI KAWASHIMA THROWING BALL VARIOUS OF PLAYERS WARMING UP FORWARD KEISUKE HONDA AND TEAM MATES TEAM CAPTAIN MAKOTO HASEBE RESTING BETWEEN EXERCISES PLAYERS FEET AS THEY SIDESTEP HONDA AND TEAM MATES JOGGING MIDFIELDER SHINJI KAGAWA AND TEAM MATES JOGGING TEAM RUNNING TOGETHER AROUND THE PITCH NEWS CONFERENCE FOR IRAQ NATIONAL SOCCER TEAM BEGINNING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RADHI SHENAISHIL, IRAQ COACH, SAYING: "Hello everyone. As all of you know, the first and second preliminary matches have finished, but there are still chances within our group to keep playing. We lost those two matches, but I still think we have a chance. That chance I think will be given tomorrow when we face Japan's national team. At this point we know what the weaknesses and strengths of the teams are, so I hope to use that knowledge in the match tomorrow." NEWS CONFERENCE IN PROGRESS IRAQI PLAYERS WALKING ON TO THE PITCH VARIOUS OF TEAM TEAM DISPERSING PHOTOGRAPHERS BY THE SIDE OF THE PITCH DEFENDER AHMAD IBRAHIM KHALAF
- Embargoed: 20th October 2016 12:31
- Keywords: Soccer World Cup Qualifying Japan Iraq
- Location: SAITAMA, JAPAN
- City: SAITAMA, JAPAN
- Country: Japan
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00152QAP8F
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Japan manager Vahid Halilhodzic hopes his players will channel the pressure of expectation in a positive way when they host Iraq in a crunch World Cup qualifier on Thursday (October 6).
Aiming for a sixth consecutive World Cup finals appearance in Russia, Japan made a disappointing start to the final stage of Asian qualifying with a surprise 2-1 home loss to the United Arab Emirates.
The four-times Asian champions got back to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Thailand, but cannot afford another slip against Iraq, who are winless from their two group games.
Japan travel to Melbourne in a showdown clash with Group B leaders Australia the following Tuesday.
"It's not just about victory but we have to do everything in order to prepare for us to win," Halilhodzic told reporters on Wednesday.
Winger Manabu Saito was called into the Japan squad for the games against Iraq and Australia after Yoshinori Muto and Takashi Usami withdrew due to injury.
Iraq lost their opening two matches but coach Radhi Shenaishil is still hoping his team can qualify for the finals.
The first and second preliminary matches have finished, but there are still chances within our group to keep playing. We lost those two matches, but I still think we have a chance
The top two in Groups A and B qualify for the 2018 World Cup, while the third-placed teams meet to decide who goes into a CONCACAF-Asian Zone playoff for a place at the finals.
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
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