The Socceroos are back with a 4-0 win, but now face Japan in the quarters.
Japan’s Yuji Nakazawa, left, is looking forward to
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.
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.