Japan national team coach Vahid Halilhodzic was more satisfied with the result than his team’s performance after their 3-0 win over Cambodia on Thursday night in joint qualifying for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and AFC Asian Cup 2019.
While goals from outside the penalty area by Keisuke Honda and Maya Yoshida satisfying their French-speaking coach’s demand for more long-range shooting, the official match records’ tally of 34 shots for the Samurai Blue betrayed profligacy in front of the Cambodian goal.
“I want to congratulate my players for winning and thanks the fans for creating a great atmosphere,” Halilhodzic said after the match. “But I believe we could have scored even more goals.
“I lost count of how many times we wasted opportunities trying to centre the ball in the penalty area.”
Japan, who are tied for second place in Group E, will look to remain unbeaten when they travel to Tehran next week to face Afghanistan at the Azadi Stadium.