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Newcastle (Australia), Jan 11 (IANS) Japan football team head coach Javier Aquirre Sunday said his team is capable of defending the Asian Cup title.
“We are confident that we can defend our title as the Asian Cup champions,” Aquirre was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
“We respect all the other 15 teams, all of them have the opportunity to win the Asian Cup, but we will defend the title.”
Japan won the championship in 2011 defeating Australia 1-0 at the Asian Cup final in Qatar.
The first match here against Palestine Monday is very important, said Aquirre.
“Palestine will make their debut at the Asian Cup and they are eager to win. We will respect them and be concentrated by ourselves. The first game is very difficult, I will tell the boys to play in high intensity from the very beginning, as it is the last minute of the match.”
Midfielder Makoto Hasebe said: “Tomorrow’s game is important to us and we are ready. We need to prepare (well), and if the result goes in our favour then we will be in a good position to defend the title. Defending the title is very important to us,” said.