Japan's Asano: The World Cup starts now2022-12-04 11:39
Japan have written one of the World Cup's best stories with wins over former champions Germany and Spain, but Takuma Asano says they have yet to achieve anything.
Winger Asano kicked off Japan's campaign with the winning goal in Germany's victory, but was then reversed by Costa Rica in the second game of the group stage.
However, another upset against Spain sees Japan advance to the round of 16 at the top of their group and meet lost 2018 finalists Croatia at the Al Janoub Stadium on Monday .
" Even though we didn't win everything, I think the most important thing is that we got through the group stage, " Asano said
Now Asano is starting to feel like it's shaping up to be a great World Cup. But nothing has been achieved yet, so Asano thinks everything starts now.
The goal is to enter the top 8
Attacking midfielder Asano, who started all three group games, believes progress has been made despite being drawn in the so-called "group of death", giving players confidence they can beat Europe's best .
Monday will be Japan's fourth round of 16 meeting in the World Cup finals , but they are yet to make it past the first round of the knockout stages.
Improving that record isn't the whole of their ambition, Asano said. Entering the top 8 is one of their goals now, and the Japanese team will show their best performance to win the next game.
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