Japan became a third group to validate for a 2018 World Cup on Tuesday dusk with a clinical 2-0 win over Australia during Saitama Stadium yet it was finished with some informed faces on a bench.
For some time, a Samurai Blue have had their large 3 in attack: their European-based holy threesome of Keisuke Honda and a twin Shinjis of Kagawa and Ozazaki were reputable and envied around Asia.
Fans in Japan could stay adult late each weekend in a wish of saying their stars personification in a biggest and best leagues in a world. Kagawa roared on by 80,000 fans during Borussia Dortmund, Honda in movement during a San Siro, another cathedral of European football, and afterwards there was Okazaki.
There he was in a 2015-16 deteriorate assisting Leicester City to an English Premier League pretension that was as doubtful as it was distinguished around a world.
All had their ups and downs in Europe yet they were 3 of a biggest names in Asian football. Yet on Thursday, with Japan confronting a essential diversion opposite Australia when a win would take a group to Russia subsequent summer and anything else would be a vital problem, nothing of a contingent featured in any suggestive way.
Four years ago, Japan cumulative gift for Brazil 2014 during a same track opposite a same opposition. All 3 played for all yet 3 mins as Okazaki was taken off.
Four years on, a same actor entered record with 4 mins remaining. By afterwards a hosts were dual goals to a good and a celebrations had were starting among 60,000 fans in Saitama and millions some-more examination opposite a country.
They didn’t caring that a informed faces were on a sidelines. In football there are always new heroes to hail,
In a initial half Takuma Asano stole behind a Socceroo backline to fire smartly past Mathew Ryan in goal. The 22 year-old is already in Europe, personification his bar football for Stuttgart in a Bundesliga. With copiousness of using and recognition of what is going on around him, Asano could be around for some time to come.
He was upstaged, not that he will mind, in a second half. Yosuke Ideguchi is in a minority in a patrol as he still plays in a J.League yet maybe not for most longer.
Just 21, a Gamba Osaka midfielder was Japan’s best actor even before he hermetic a win and a place in World Cup array 6 with 7 mins remaining.
Picking adult a round in a center of a Australian half, Ideguchi ran past a divided counterclaim and afterwards twisted a excellent shot pat Ryan from outward a area.
“The manager motionless to play me on this large theatre and so we came into a compare dynamic to broach formula and that led to a goal,” Ideguchi said. “There is still a prolonged approach to go until subsequent year’s World Cup so we wish to continue to urge so that we keep removing picked.”
He should be and that is bad news for his seniors.
Partly this is all down to age. Both Honda and Okazaki will both have only incited 32 by a time Russia kicks off. Such an age lies somewhere between a football adjectives of ‘experienced’ and ‘veteran’.
Any manager would start to demeanour for younger blood yet it is exegetic that Vahid Halilhodzic chose to do so not during a pleasing accessible yet a essential World Cup qualifier.
It is also partly in response to a miss of personification time. Honda generally struggled to get on a representation in a initial half of 2017 with AC Milan. The awaiting of losing his inhabitant group mark –as warned by Halilhodzic –was one reason for his new pierce to Pachuca in Mexico.
Kagawa has played some-more for Dortmund yet is still in and out of a side. Add that to a array of indifferent performances for Japan in a past year or so and afterwards not creation it over a white line is understandable.
It might be frustrating for a players yet it is enlivening for Japan. When stars of such peculiarity and knowledge are ignored for such a large game, it asks questions of a youngsters.
And they stepped adult when their group and manager indispensable them.
Kagawa, Okazaki and Honda are no longer involuntary choices for Japan and while that does not meant their general careers are over, what can be pronounced for certain is this: a generations are changing in Japan.
The large 3 are going to be saying some-more of a dais and that includes those of a Russian accumulation subsequent summer. Honda, Kagawa and Okazaki need to pierce over, there is a new era pulling through.