Akasaka Azabu

Japan's World Cup qualification
  • Date Published: May 01, 2024

The Japan national football team, often referred to as the Japan national team, has begun an exhilarating adventure to secure their participation in the 2022 World Cup. Being one of the leading teams in Asia, they are up against tough competitors in the AFC World Cup qualifying rounds as they seek to demonstrate their talent and progress into the main event.

Japan’s road to the World Cup involves navigating a challenging path through the World Cup qualifiers. With their rich football history and talented players, they have their sights set on making a strong impression on the world stage.

Japan’s World Cup campaign is crucial not only for the team but also for the Japanese football community and fans across the nation. The Japan Football Association has invested heavily in nurturing young talents and developing a strong national team capable of competing with the world’s best.

As the tournament draws near, the excitement and anticipation for Japan’s World Cup journey continue to grow. With their solid performance in previous World Cup appearances and the determination of their players, the Japanese team has high hopes of making their mark in the 2022 edition.

Key Takeaways:

  • Japan’s national football team is on a quest to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.
  • The team faces tough competition in the AFC World Cup qualification rounds.
  • Japan’s football history and talented players make them a formidable opponent.
  • The Japan Football Association is committed to developing a strong national team.
  • The Japanese team aims to make a strong impression in the 2022 World Cup.

Quest for the Quarterfinals

Japan’s national team has set their sights on reaching the quarterfinals in the highly anticipated 2022 World Cup. Led by head coach Moriyasu Hajime, the team aims to solidify Japan’s position as an emerging football nation. Despite facing tough opponents in Spain and Germany, Japan’s past performance in World Cup tournaments demonstrates their potential for success.

With an impressive track record in AFC World Cup qualification and a talented roster, Japan is well-equipped to compete at the highest level. The team’s resilience and determination make them a formidable force, capable of achieving their goal of advancing to the quarterfinals.

The journey will not be easy, as Spain and Germany are renowned football powerhouses. However, Japan’s national team has consistently proven themselves on the global stage, earning respect from opponents and fans alike.

“Our goal is clear – to reach the quarterfinals and make our mark in the World Cup,” says Moriyasu Hajime. “We have a strong belief in our abilities and a game plan to overcome any challenges we face.”

Japan’s World Cup chances are further bolstered by their strong performance and success in AFC World Cup qualification. The team has consistently performed well in the qualification stages, showcasing their ability to navigate through competitive matches and secure their spot in the tournament.

As the world eagerly anticipates the 2022 World Cup, Japan’s national team is determined to make their mark. With their sights set on the quarterfinals, they are ready to showcase their skill, passion, and commitment to the beautiful game of football.

Japan's World Cup chances

Short Preparation Time

Unlike previous World Cup tournaments, this year’s edition in Qatar offers teams a short time to prepare. The Premier League, one of Europe’s leading domestic leagues, went on a break just 10 days before Japan’s opening match against Germany. However, head coach Moriyasu sees this as an advantage, as Japan’s players are highly adaptable and can rise to the challenges they face.

Despite the limited preparation time, the Japan national football team aims to make the most of their resources and ensure they are well-prepared for the World Cup qualifiers. The coaching staff has implemented intensive training sessions that focus on team cohesion, tactical strategies, and physical endurance to compensate for the lack of time.

Japan’s players understand the importance of effective communication and coordination on the field, which will be crucial in facing formidable opponents. The team’s ability to quickly adapt to different playing styles and employ effective tactics gives them an edge in the World Cup qualifiers.

Head coach Moriyasu believes that the short preparation time works in favor of the Japan football team. Their experience in high-pressure situations and their collective commitment to success make them a formidable force in the World Cup qualifiers.

“We may have less time compared to previous tournaments, but the resilience and adaptability of our players can take us far. We are confident in our abilities and ready to face any challenge,” says Moriyasu.

Although the short preparation time presents its challenges, it also provides an opportunity for the Japan national team to showcase their resilience and determination. Japan’s footballers are no strangers to adversity, and their ability to quickly adapt to new circumstances will be vital in their World Cup campaign.

The Challenges of Short Preparation

With limited time for training and acclimatization, the Japan football team faces several challenges in their World Cup preparations:

  • Physical Conditioning: Ensuring that players are in peak physical condition and minimizing the risk of injuries despite the tight schedule.
  • Team Building: Developing effective teamwork and understanding among players who may have fewer opportunities to train together.
  • Strategic Planning: Formulating and implementing strategies tailored to each opponent, accounting for their strengths and weaknesses, in a reduced timeframe.

Despite these potential obstacles, Japan’s national team is determined to make the most of their short preparation time and put forth a strong World Cup campaign. The coaching staff’s meticulous planning and the players’ dedication will be key factors in Japan’s pursuit of World Cup success.

Japan's World Cup campaign

Tactical Variety

Japan’s national football team approaches their matches in the World Cup qualifiers with a tactical variety that adapts to different opponents. When facing higher-ranked teams like Germany and Spain, Japan focuses on surrendering possession and employing a solid defending strategy. The team patiently waits for opposition mistakes and exploits them with quick counterattacks, capitalizing on their speed and precision.

On the other hand, against defensively solid teams like Costa Rica, Japan faces the challenge of breaking through their deep-lying defense. The Japanese team will need to adopt an offensive approach that combines creativity and teamwork to find the necessary breakthroughs and secure valuable points.

“Our approach against Germany and Spain involves being organized in defense and waiting for the right moment to strike. However, against teams like Costa Rica, we need to find ways to unlock their defensive structure and create goal-scoring opportunities,” says head coach Moriyasu Hajime.

This tactical variety ensures that Japan’s national football team can adapt to different match situations and opponent styles, increasing their chances of success in the World Cup qualifiers. The team’s strategic approach showcases their versatility and ability to exploit the weaknesses of their adversaries, proving their readiness to compete on a global stage.

As the tournament progresses, Japan’s flexibility in tactics and the ability to execute them effectively will be crucial in determining their journey in the World Cup.

Japan’s national football team employs a tactical variety in their World Cup campaign.

Using Entire Squad to Fullest

The success of Japan’s World Cup campaign heavily relies on utilizing their entire squad to its fullest potential. With an increased squad size of 26 members, the team has a deep talent pool to draw from. This provides Head Coach Moriyasu Hajime with the flexibility to make five substitutions per game, enabling him to manage fatigue and maintain a high level of performance throughout the tournament.

Squad rotation will be a key strategy for Japan in the World Cup qualifiers. With shorter rest periods between games, it is crucial to keep players fresh and avoid injuries. By rotating the squad, Japan can ensure that every player is given an opportunity to contribute and showcase their abilities on the international stage.

Managing fatigue is of utmost importance in a demanding tournament like the World Cup. By using the entire squad and providing adequate rest to key players, Japan can keep their energy levels high and perform at their best in each match.

This approach also allows for different tactical formations and game plans based on the opponent. Japan can adapt their strategies according to the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition, providing them with a competitive edge on the field.

The ability to tap into the depth of talent in their squad gives Japan an advantage in their quest to progress in the World Cup. It ensures that the team remains competitive and prepared for any challenges they may face during the tournament.

Benefits of Squad Rotation:

  • Prevents player burnout and reduces the risk of injuries
  • Allows for tactical flexibility and adaptability
  • Gives opportunities for lesser-known players to prove themselves
  • Maintains a high level of performance throughout the tournament

Players to Watch

Japan’s World Cup campaign in 2022 will be fueled by the talent and skills of three key players. These players possess the ability to make a significant impact on the field, contributing to Japan’s success on the global stage. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:

Tomiyasu Takehiro

A versatile defender, Tomiyasu Takehiro is a force to be reckoned with on the pitch. He combines power, pace, and technique to create a formidable presence in Japan’s backline. Tomiyasu’s ability to read the game and make crucial interceptions makes him an invaluable asset. His defensive prowess will be crucial in Japan’s quest for World Cup qualification.

Kamada Daichi

Kamada Daichi shines both as a forward and a midfielder for the Japan national football team. Known for his exceptional goal-scoring abilities, Kamada has the knack for finding the back of the net when it matters most. His agility, creativity, and precise finishing make him a constant threat to opposing defenses. Kamada’s contributions will be pivotal in Japan’s fight for World Cup qualification.

Kubo Takefusa

Watch out for Kubo Takefusa, an exciting winger with immense talent. Known for his speed, accurate striking, and set-piece skills, Kubo has the ability to change the course of a game in an instant. His dribbling skills and ability to deliver telling crosses make him a potent attacking threat. Kubo’s presence on the wing will be a key factor in Japan’s World Cup campaign.

These three players represent a blend of defensive solidity, goal-scoring prowess, and attacking flair. Their performances will have a significant impact on Japan’s journey towards World Cup qualification. The team will rely on their skills and contributions to navigate the challenging road ahead.

World Cup Qualification Journey

Japan’s national team secured their place in the 2022 World Cup with a dramatic victory in Australia, finishing second in their qualifying group behind Saudi Arabia. This remarkable achievement marks Japan’s seventh consecutive appearance in the World Cup since 1998, showcasing their consistent presence on the global stage of football.

Competing in Group E, Japan will face formidable opponents such as Spain, Costa Rica, and Germany. This group presents a tough challenge for the Japanese team, as they will need to navigate through a diverse range of playing styles and strategies to secure their progression in the tournament.

In their qualifying campaign, Japan demonstrated resilience, determination, and skill, overcoming various obstacles to secure their qualification. The team’s focus and preparation under the guidance of head coach Moriyasu Hajime have been instrumental in their success.

“Qualifying for the World Cup is always a challenging journey. The players have shown immense dedication and teamwork throughout the qualifying matches, and we are proud to represent Japan on the global stage,” said Moriyasu Hajime.

Japan’s qualification brings excitement and anticipation among football fans, as they eagerly await the national team’s performance in the prestigious tournament. With their rich footballing history and talented squad, Japan will strive to make an impact and exceed expectations in the 2022 World Cup.

Key Takeaways:

  • Japan secured their place in the 2022 World Cup through a dramatic victory in Australia.
  • This marks Japan’s seventh consecutive appearance in the World Cup since 1998.
  • Competing in Group E, Japan will face tough competition from Spain, Costa Rica, and Germany.
  • Head coach Moriyasu Hajime has guided the team with dedication and preparation.
  • Football fans eagerly anticipate Japan’s performance in the 2022 World Cup.

Round of 16 Exit

Unfortunately, Japan’s journey in the 2022 World Cup came to an end in the round of 16. After a 1-1 draw against Croatia, Japan lost 3-1 on penalties. Maeda Daizen scored the lone goal for Japan, but Ivan Perisic equalized for Croatia. Despite a strong performance in the group stage, Japan couldn’t advance further in the tournament.

It was a disappointing exit for Japan’s national football team, but their overall campaign showcased their determination and progress. The team displayed resilience and fought hard in every match, making their mark on the global stage.

Key Moments

  1. ▪ Maeda Daizen’s goal against Croatia proved Japan’s attacking prowess;
  2. ▪ Ivan Perisic’s equalizer put the match on a knife’s edge;
  3. ▪ Penalty shootout resulted in Japan’s heartbreaking loss.

Despite the disappointment of not reaching the quarterfinals, Japan can take pride in their achievements. The team united the nation with their impressive performances and provided exciting moments for football fans.

“Though our World Cup journey ended prematurely, we leave with our heads held high, proud of the progress we made as a team. We will use this experience as motivation to work even harder and come back stronger in future tournaments.” – Moriyasu Hajime, Japan’s head coach.


Japan’s World Cup campaign in 2022 highlighted the nation’s progress as a formidable force in international football. Although they fell short in the round of 16, Japan’s solid performance in the group stage and the exceptional talents of players such as Tomiyasu, Kamada, and Kubo demonstrate their potential for future success. The Japan national team’s journey throughout the World Cup showcased their ability to compete at the highest level, as they went toe-to-toe with some of the world’s strongest teams.

Japan’s World Cup campaign was a testament to their determination to reach new heights in the sport. Despite the challenges they faced, the team showed resilience and fought hard in every match. The Japan national team’s performance in the tournament has undoubtedly inspired their fans and supporters, as they demonstrated their unwavering commitment to representing their country with pride on the global stage.

As Japan looks ahead to future tournaments, there is immense potential for further success. The experience gained in the World Cup qualifiers and the tournament itself will undoubtedly contribute to the team’s ongoing development. With a talented squad and a growing reputation in international football, Japan’s World Cup campaign serves as a stepping stone for even greater achievements in the future.


Has Japan’s national football team ever reached the quarterfinals in the World Cup?

Yes, Japan aims to reach the quarterfinals in the 2022 World Cup.

Who is the head coach of Japan’s national football team?

Moriyasu Hajime is the head coach of Japan’s national football team.

Who are the tough opponents that Japan faces in their World Cup group?

Japan faces tough competition from Spain, Germany, and Costa Rica in their World Cup group.

How does Japan plan to approach matches against higher-ranked opponents?

Japan’s strategy against higher-ranked opponents like Germany and Spain will focus on surrendering possession and defending, waiting for opposition mistakes, and launching quick counterattacks.

How does Japan plan to break through defensively solid teams like Costa Rica?

Japan will need to figure out how to break through Costa Rica’s deep-lying defense to secure the necessary points.

Which key players should we watch out for in Japan’s World Cup campaign?

Keep an eye on Tomiyasu Takehiro, Kamada Daichi, and Kubo Takefusa, as they play crucial roles in Japan’s success on the global stage.

How did Japan secure their place in the 2022 World Cup?

Japan secured their place in the 2022 World Cup with a dramatic victory in Australia, finishing second in their qualifying group behind Saudi Arabia.

What was Japan’s performance in the round of 16 in the 2022 World Cup?

Unfortunately, Japan’s journey in the 2022 World Cup came to an end in the round of 16 after a 1-1 draw against Croatia followed by a 3-1 loss on penalties.

What does Japan’s World Cup campaign showcase about their progress as a footballing nation?

Japan’s World Cup campaign in 2022 showcased their progress as a footballing nation, with a solid performance in the group stage and the potential for further success in future tournaments.

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