Nakazawa sees hot weather as a plus

The defender says Japan will be in top shape when they meet Australia in the quarters.

    Japan's Yuji Nakazawa, left, is looking forward to
    going head-to-head with the Socceroos [EPA]

    Yuji Nakazawa, key Japan defender, believes the hot and humid weather in Vietnam will be an advantage for his side when they take on Australia in their Asian Cup quarter-final at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi on Saturday.

    "We have already fought three matches here and I think it is a plus for us," Nakazawa said.

    "If we fight with brains, the weather will be a big advantage for Japan.

    "I expect Australia to be somewhat sluggish at the start because of the heat," added the 29-year-old Yokohama center back.

    Australia have had to travel to Hanoi for their quarter-final after finishing runners-up to Iraq in Group A, with the Middle Eastern team remaining in Bangkok for their second round match with Vietnam, who finished second in Group B.

    Your Views

    Who will win the big quarter-final clash between Japan and Australia?

     

    Send us your views

    The Socceroos, playing in their first Asian Cup, could only manage a 1-1 draw with Oman before losing 3-1 to Iraq, and scraped into the quarters on head-to-head record after finally conquering the heat to beat Thailand 4-0.

    Japan finished top of Group B, beating Gulf Cup champions United Arab Emirates 3-1 and spirited co-hosts Vietnam 4-1 after drawing 1-1 with Qatar.

    "We haven't had to move and were given four days before the next match," added Nakazawa.

    "We will face Australia in a very good condition."

    The last-eight battle with the Socceroos, who switched to the Asian confederation from Oceania after the World Cup last year, is a grudge match after Japan lost to them 3-1 at the World Cup in Germany.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.