Ko Oiwa believes the matchup will be a tough one

Japan’s head coach Ko Oiwa, who will face South Korea at the 2024 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Asian Cup, which doubles as the final qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, believes the matchup will be a tough one.

In an interview with Japanese media outlet DAZN on Tuesday, Oiwa downplayed the quality of his Group B opponents.

Japan is in a group with South Korea, China, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The top three nations in the tournament will advance directly to the Paris Olympics, while the fourth-place finisher will play a continental playoff against Africa’s Guinea.

South Korea and Japan will face off in their final group game on June 22 at 10 p.m.

“We don’t need to motivate ourselves too much,” Oiwa said of the South Koreans, but added, 스포츠토토 “They have some unique players in the attacking line and we need to be wary of the physicality of their center backs.”

South Korea, led by Hwang Sun-hong, are looking to become the first team in the world to qualify for 10 consecutive Olympic Games.

Oiwa said of China, “I think their strengths are their individual fitness and intensity of play,” and of the UAE, “they have high physical ability, leg length, and a rhythm that is unique to the Middle East.”

Japan will be trying to qualify for their eighth consecutive Olympic Games.

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