Japan, which was considered the strongest candidate to win, packed up in the quarterfinals.
Japan lost to Iran 1-2 in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup held at Education City Stadium in Alayyan, Qatar on Monday (Korea time). When the score was 1-1 in the second half, it gave up a penalty kick for extra time.
The situation is quite the opposite of that of Korea. Korea won against Saudi Arabia in the round of 16, and Australia in the quarterfinals with dramatic equalizer in extra time in the second half.
Japanese media cited the existence of leaders and superstars as one of the reasons for the defeat.
Soccer Digest emphasized, “Son Heung-min (Tottenham Hotspur) is the representative player. The Korean captain and absolute ace scored the winning goal with an extra free kick in the second half of the semifinals against Australia.”
Takehiro Tomiyasu, a defender of the English Premier League, also said after the match, “We had a difficult situation at the Asian Cup. We need a player to change the mood of the team at that time, but there was no player like that,” adding, “I didn’t watch the game, but yes. Korea has made a difference in performance and produced results. I don’t know if there is such a player in Japan yet or if he is not in this tournament.” 헤라카지노도메인
Soccer Digest also pointed out players’ mental breakdown as the reason for its defeat. It mentioned tears of Iran’s Sardar Azmoun (AS Roma), his opponent in the quarterfinals, and tears of Son Heung-min.
“Iranian ace Azmoun burst into tears after winning the quarterfinals,” Soccer Digest said. “Korean ‘captain’ Son Heung-min who advanced to the semifinals showed tears just by beating Saudi Arabia in the round of 16. Even though he was the top scorer in the Premier League…”