Japan head coach Alberto Zaccheroni will be concerned about his team’s defensive frailty ahead of their East Asian Cup clash against Australia.
Zaccheroni’s side drew 3-3 with China in their East Asian Cup opener on Sunday, making it 12 goals conceded by Japan in their past four games.
The Japanese threw away a two-goal lead in the last 10 minutes with Wang Yongpo and Sun Ke scoring late goals for China in a dramatic finale.
Japan went behind early on Sunday through a penalty from Wang and while goals from Yuzo Kurihara, Yoichiro Kakitani and Masato Kudo looked to have put Zaccheroni's team on track for victory, China hit back.
Wang scored another penalty in the 81st minute and Sun Ke slotted the equaliser six minutes later to secure a point, which has kept the East Asian Cup all square heading into the second round of games.
While Zaccheroni’s young side will be favourites to maul Australia in Hwaseong on Thursday, if they continue their poor defensive record, the Socceroos will fancy their chances of sneaking a win just as they threatened to in a World Cup qualifier at the start of last month.
Socceroos head coach Holger Osieck must restructure his midfield if Australia is to take advantage of Japan’s issues, however, after his team barely touched the ball throughout their 0-0 draw with hosts South Korea on Saturday.
Australia only escaped with a point due to a phenomenal performance from goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic.
The Adelaide United goalkeeper made a string of impressive saves to keep a clean sheet in Seoul but Osieck will undoubtedly have been disappointed in the failure of his midfielders, Mark Milligan, Dario Vidosic and Ruben Zadkovich, plus substitute Erik Paartalu, to control possession at any point against the South Koreans.
Osieck's decision to play Zadkovich for the entire 90 minutes was hard to fathom due to the Newcastle Jets captain's poor passing. On Saturday, Zadkovich regularly just thumped the ball long rather than trying to pick out a team-mate and Osieck has a number of options who could replace the 27-year-old.
Matt McKay, one of the few experienced players in Australia's squad, could be shifted centrally after struggling to get involved as a left-winger versus South Korea, while Aaron Mooy deserves a chance after a strong campaign with A-League premiers Western Sydney Wanderers last season.
Osieck may also be tempted to play Archie Thompson as the central striker against Japan as the Melbourne Victory veteran seemed almost stranded on the right wing in the Socceroos East Asian Cup opener. If Thompson does play down the middle and McKay is picked in central midfield, Mitch Nichols, Craig Goodwin, Adam Taggart and Connor Pain could all play a role out wide.
|Y. Ōsako||55' 56' 79'|
|Coach: A. Zaccheroni|
for T. Ohgihara 61'
for M. Saito 73'
for K. Chiba 81'
|Lille 0 Paris Saint-Germain 1: Cavani strike the difference|
|Zidane urges patience with Modric injury|
|From Bundesliga to WWE, ex-goalkeeper says wrestling makes him fitter than football|
|Mourinho: Focus on fans helped United beat City|
|Hamann questions Mourinho over ´strange´ Mkhitaryan treatment|
|Wiese: Wrestling makes me fitter than football|
|Giggs: Liverpool would not stop at one Premier League title|
|Ferguson´s gesture a special memory for Defour|
|Inter ´100 per cent´ behind De Boer|
|A-League Review: Melbourne City triumph over Adelaide|
|Juventus v Napoli: Higuain faces ´angry´ former club in crunch clash|
|Ronaldo wishes he scored wondergoal for Madrid, not Barca|
|Unlike Mourinho, Guardiola is happy in Manchester|
|Pochettino dismisses Aguero links|
|´Annoyed´ Muller to stop taking penalties for Bayern|
|Luis Enrique: Critics frustrated by Guardiola´s success|
|Ronaldo does not try to intimidate referees - Kuipers|
|Weinzierl excited for first Ruhr derby|
|Phelan urges Hull to take cup form into Premier League|
|No problem with Kompany - Guardiola|
|Mkhitaryan not injured but still needs time, says Mourinho|
|Moyes claims Sunderland are improving|
|Pochettino: Title race could go to final day|
|Guardiola: Real Madrid don´t need a manager like me|
|Tuchel eager for ´cup final´ atmosphere in Ruhr derby|
|Conte insists title talk is dangerous|
|Dancing panda Patrice Evra can´t bear to see racism go unchallenged|
|Everton boss Koeman would relish Rooney return|
|Benteke threat worries Klopp|
|James backs Southgate for full-time England job|
|Ancelotti unconcerned by Lewandowski, Muller droughts|
|Bilic frustrated by crowd trouble as London Stadium ´felt like home´|
|Luis Enrique defends Barcelona in LaLiga disciplinary row|
|Premier League title fight will go to the wire - Cech|
|Simeone ignoring Premier League rumours|
|Klopp: I like Ferguson, is that allowed?|
|Begovic claims Chelsea did not rub in Mourinho win|
|´Genius´ Ronaldo is not anxious - Zidane|
|Allegri defends Higuain´s form ahead of Napoli return|
|Wenger hopes West Ham act to avoid stadium ban|
|Bilic credits players for West Ham´s revival|
|Pardew urges concentration to combat in-form Liverpool|
|Howe wants Cherries´ away form to blossom|
|Scholl slams Golden Boy Sanches|
|Pulis signs contract extension at West Brom|
|Ballon d´Oh! Wenger highlights disdain for award with Ozil gaffe|
|Liverpool must be ´angry´ to beat teams at the bottom - Can|
|Perez blow for Arsenal with striker facing eight weeks out|
|Neymar the victim of a media campaign - Rafinha|
|Cannavaro dreams of Real Madrid job|
|Alonso lauds Klopp for embracing Liverpool culture|
|Barcelona report LaLiga chief Tebas to sports court|
|MLS Review: Late goal from Valdez sees Sounders through, Impact rout DC|
|Saul committed to Simeone and Atletico|
|Ronaldo deserves to win Ballon d´Or - Cannavaro|
|Shaw eager to earn Mourinho´s trust at United|
|Neymar playing for Barca because of Messi, says father|
|Jardim questions Falcao´s stints at United and Chelsea|
|Berardi will get Italy call when system changes - Ventura|
|Lucas Vazquez delighted by ´dream´ Madrid deal|
|Scottish FA chief backs cross-border competition|
|Dortmund need Reus - Aubameyang|
|Lamela eyeing new Spurs deal|
|Tighter Watford matches are a coincidence, says Mazzarri|
|Karanka: We saved Boro from League One|
|Police investigate homophobic leaflet at West Ham|
|Spain could recall Villa, reveals Lopetegui|
|Hughes backs Bony to break Stoke duck|
|Sarri will greet Higuain ´like a son who made him angry´|
|Robben receives Netherlands recall|
|Dyche considering Gray recall for Burnley|
|Zidane was behind one of my best seasons, says Ronaldo|
|Schweinsteiger absent from United squad photo|
|Emery emphasises Thiago Silva´s importance amid Juve links|
|Ferguson: Leicester will make deep Champions League run|
|Ranieri hails ´special´ Ballon d´Or nominations for Vardy and Mahrez|
|Emery: PSG cannot rely solely on Cavani goals|
|Mourinho can match Guardiola, insists Ferguson|
|Ferguson hails Klopp: Liverpool are strong title contenders now|
|Bayern optimistic over Lewandowski renewal|
|Zubizarreta appointment confirmed by Marseille|
|Clichy: Things will click into place for Manchester City|
|Chiellini: Juventus wanted to send a message|
|Gabigol´s time will come - De Boer|
|Ronaldo: Messi and I are not friends - but we respect each other|
|Earthquake halts play in Serie A game between Pescara and Atalanta|
|Mourinho charged over Taylor comments|
|Ronaldo: I need my haters|
|Badstuber hopeful injury woes behind him|
|Kroos did not want to be rested, insists Zidane|
|Rojo was phenomenal - Mourinho|
|Seven arrests made after West Ham - Chelsea fan clashes|
|Florenzi injury blow for Roma|
|MLS Review: Galaxy, Toronto into semis|
|Beister: Victory move surprised people|
|Bilic: Cup run will help in Premier League|
|Pjaca out for up to three weeks|
|Trophies still the focus for Guardiola|
|Mignolet wants ´fair´ Karius battle|
|Ancelotti impressed by motivated Bayern|
|West Ham ´unreservedly condemn´ crowd trouble|
|Allegri praises strike duo after win over Sampdoria|
|De Boer praises two-goal Icardi after vital win|
|Chelsea were ´unlucky´ with missed chances, insists Conte|
|Mourinho: I´ve never had fans like these|