[Cyberduck-trac] [Cyberduck] #9926: Japan's Honda admits to 'failure' before UAE clash

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Sun Apr 30 17:33:31 UTC 2017

#9926: Japan's Honda admits to 'failure' before UAE clash
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 Keisuke Honda (L)blames his own shortcomings for a debate about his future
 in Japan's national squad

 Japan's Keisuke Honda has blamed his own shortcomings for sparking debate
 on his international future before this week's World Cup qualifier in the
 United Arab Emirates, domestic media reported Tuesday.

 Once a talismanic figure for Japan, the 30-year-old squeaked into coach
 Vahid Halilhodzic's squad for Thursday's clash despite being buried deep
 on the bench at AC Milan for much of the season.

 "I do understand people asking how a person who's not playing for his club
 should be picked for his country," Honda told Japan's Nikkan Sports daily.

 "Of course, it's not just in Japan, or in the world of football or any
 sport, where that's an issue. What's most important is to work hard and
 produce results," he added.

 "The fact people are saying all sorts of things about me is down to my own

 Japan, who are level on points with Saudi Arabia at the top of Group B,
 lost 2-1 at home to the Emirates last September in the opening game of the
 final round of Asian qualifiers after a "ghost goal" from Takuma Asano was

 Luck returned in their last game, however, when they were awarded a
 controversial penalty in a 2-1 home win over the Saudis.

 Both teams have 10 points from five games, with Asian champions Australia
 a point behind in the chase for the group's two automatic qualifying

 Japan's preparations for Thursday's game in Al Ain have been further
 complicated by a knee injury to captain Makoto Hasebe which could require

 "I deeply apologise for not being able to join the team for such a big
 game," Hasebe told reporters.

 "It was a bitter decision to take but I have 100, 120 percent trust in my

 The Eintracht Frankfurt midfielder will also miss Japan's home qualifier
 against Thailand next Tuesday.

 [http://Www.modernmom.com/?s=Playmaker%20Shinji Playmaker Shinji] Kagawa
 called on Japan to produce a performance worthy of one of region's best
 teams against a side who have frustrated the Blue Samurai Sword
 ([http://tinyurl.com/060909c8f84fe0b73e74ea77f5c23f35 get redirected
 here]) in the past, notably when dumping them out of the 2015 Asian Cup in
 the quarter-finals.

 "Obviously it's a game we have to win," said the Borussia Dortmund player.
 "We did ourselves no favours losing to the Emirates at home. It will be a
 tough game in hot conditions, but we have to make sure we complete the

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