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Goal-hungry Japan revamp forward line

12 July 2007 07:49

HANOI (AFP) - Goal-hungry Japan are set to revamp their frontline for the crucial game against Gulf Cup champions United Arab Emirates on Friday in a bid to keep alive their tilt for a third straight Asian Cup.

Frankfurt striker Naohiro Takahara, who scored Japan's sole goal in a dismal 1-1 draw with Qatar in their Group B opener, was joined by J-Leaguer Kisho Yano as a second forward in training Wednesday evening.

"We want to play in a way to frighten the opponents," Takahara told reporters after the rain-interrupted workout.

"As two top forwards it is best that we don't stay far from each other and break down the defence by exchanging passes," said the 28-year-old, who has struck 11 Bundesliga goals since moving from Hamburg at the start of last season.

"I am confident myself that I can break it down."

Against Qatar, Japan squandered several scoring chances and could not capitalise on Takahara's 61st-minute goal.

Qatar's Uruguayan-born striker Sebsatian Quintana Soria blasted a 20-metre free-kick through the wall two minutes from time for the equaliser.

Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura urged his teammates to show their killer instincts.

"We'd better not focus on passing the ball around for ever. We must display individual skills where you can and step up to shoot," said the 29-year-old.

Takahara has now scored six Asian Cup goals.

He bagged a hatful in 2000 but missed the 2004 edition in China when he was selected for the Athens Olympic squad instead but was then sidelined by illness.

He warned that the UAE, who suffered a 2-0 upset by unfancied co-hosts Vietnam in their opener, would probably change tactics from their usual defensive football with their backs to the wall.

"We must seize on chances when space opens up," he said.

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