Japan manager Alberto Zaccheroni has asked his players to hone their touch in front of goal against Ghana on Tuesday or risk being embarrassed by another of the world’s top teams.
The Asian champions coasted past Guatemala 3-0 on Friday in Osaka, but Zaccheroni on Monday said he was not pleased with his team’s lack of accuracy against a Central American side already out of the picture for next year’s World Cup.
Zaccheroni said should Japan fail to make the most of their opportunities against Ghana, who reached the quarterfinals at the 2010 World Cup and are on course to qualify for Brazil, they will be pay the price.
Last month in a friendly in Miyagi Prefecture, Zaccheroni’s side was battered 4-2 at the hands of South American champions Uruguay.
“Looking back on the Guatemala game, we took 29 shots but scored only three times,” the Italian said.
“We basically had an opportunity once every three minutes, so we should have done a lot better than just three goals.
“We’ll have far fewer chances against Ghana tomorrow. Ghana can cover a lot of ground at top speed, and are stronger than us physically. We have to try to outplay them as a group and shy away from playing a physical game.”
“Compared to most African teams, Ghana work very hard and give it their best even in friendlies. It’s why their results in friendlies have been good.”
Ghana beat Zambia 1-0 at home in a World Cup qualifier Friday, and the bulk of that team is here for the match at Nissan Stadium. In their previous meeting, Japan edged Ghana 4-3 in a 2009 friendly in Utrecht, the Netherlands.