Colombia, Japan will not take each other for granted

Carrie Guzman
June 19, 2018

Japan has not had the best of preparations for the World Cup in Russian Federation, and news of an quake back home added to their worries on Monday, while a false hotel alarm a day before their opener against Colombia did little to help settle the team.

"The short-term objective is to get through the group stage, and this is not easy at all", the coach said at a press conference on the eve of their opening match against Japan.

"We are talented and we have a great team, but we must be clever at the World Cup", Aguilar said in a Federation Internationale de Football Association interview.

Nevertheless, Colombia, who defeated Japan 4-1 in the group stage in 2014, are still favorites to capture three points in this one.

Japan first appeared in a World Cup in 1998 and has qualified for every one since, so they're hoping their experience helps.

Colombia Japan ended in a 4-1 destruction of the latter by the former in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil - and they will be hoping to repeat the feat today.

Senegal President Macky Sall is in Russian Federation and will attend his country's World Cup game against Poland in Moscow.

"We're focusing only on Japan and then we'll think about what comes next".

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And Eiji Kawashima, who let those four goals in, says it is time to for Japan to make amends, with retribution on their minds ahead of the meeting in Saransk. "They've got a scorer [Radamel Falcao], they've got a passer [James Rodriguez]".

"The current team has more experienced players than before", said goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, who played for Japan in South Africa in 2010 and in Brazil four years ago.

"Kolarov scored a wonderful goal and we gave him a prize - a certificate for a Lada 4x4", acting governor Dmitry Azarov was quoted as saying by the Izvestia newpaper".

"The man tasked with leading Japan in Russian Federation is not the same one who guided them through qualification, as Vahid Halilhodzic was surprisingly fired in April with little explanation from the Japanese Football Association".

The German-based cephalopod went a flawless seven for seven in predicting the results of Germany's games at the 2010 World Cup and then correctly tipped Spain to win the title. And if I simply take that fact into account, we won't win.

As we head into the final day of the first round fixtures, all groups except Group H have played their first match and will know what they have to do in the next two games they have in hand.

"Our rivals are going to try to neutralise our best players, so we have to support them".

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