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Japan must learn to kill matches in Asian Cup, says Tomiyasu

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DOHA: Japan are having to kill matches after taking the lead and their faltering defense is a cause for concern at the Asian Cup after failing once again to keep a clean sheet in the round of 16 victory. final Wednesday against Bahrain, defender Takehiro Tomiyasu said.

Japan, chasing a record fifth title, conceded in all four matches of the tournament, with an own goal while trailing 2-0 giving Bahrain a glimmer of hope in the round of 16 before that the Samurai Blue won a 3-1 victory.

“Obviously we wanted to keep a clean sheet today. But that’s how it is. We have to try to keep a clean sheet in the next match,” Tomiyasu told reporters.

“As a defender I want to keep a clean sheet every time on the pitch, but today we didn’t achieve that. I’m not happy about that.”

Although Japanese coach Hajime Moriyasu said he was satisfied with his players’ performances, he added that they were not playing at 100 percent, which Tomiyasu agreed.

“I think we are not in our best form right now. We could have done better today as well, we should have done better, especially in the second half,” Tomiyasu added.

“We had to kill the game at 2-0, but we gave them hope when they scored. We have to manage the game well and close it out.”

Tomiyasu plays as a full-back for Premier League side Arsenal, but he was deployed in central defense by Moriyasu after the 25-year-old returned from injury.

“Of course I got injured and missed the first match, but I’m fit now. My condition is improving,” said the defender.

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