Borussia Dortmund midfielder Shinji Kagawa has confirmed to Japanese media that Japan will deal seriously with all of their matches in the second group of the third round of the Asian qualifying for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The draw in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur today saw Japan in the second group alongside Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, and Thailand. The Japanese media were dubbed the “Death Group” due to four World Cup qualifiers – Australia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Iraq.
Japan’s death squad will force all players to deal with the principle of “win only”. This is confirmed by Dortmund’s German player Kagawa to Japan’s Sponichi Anix. “In the final stages of the World Cup qualifiers, There is an easy game, it will be treated with caution. “
Japan will open their qualifying campaign against the UAE in Japan on September 1. Japan will have more than four months to prepare for the match. Kagawa talks to the same newspaper about the importance of taking advantage of the coming months. “From now on, the players will start preparing for the qualifiers. Developing our technical standards by playing matches with our clubs, winning and qualifying for the 2018 World Cup is our goal. “
Kagawa is not the only Japanese player to warn against the difficulty of the Group B games. The Japanese newspaper “Sponichi Aniks” has reported Twitter from the official account of Twitter for Inter Milan midfielder Yoto Nagatomo. “Definitely all qualifying games will be tough, In order to honor the reputation of our team and achieve the dream of qualifying for Russia 2018. “
Japan have qualified for the World Cup five consecutive times, starting in 1998 in France, to succeed in reaching the role of 16 twice in the 2002 editions organized by Japan in parity with South Korea and 2010 in South Africa.