In an exciting clash at Al Thumama Stadium, Japan will take on Indonesia, with both teams vying for a spot in the last 16 of the Asian Cup.
Japan suffered a surprising defeat against Iraq, while Indonesia secured a crucial victory over Vietnam. The stakes are high as these two teams go head-to-head in this crucial encounter.
Japan had been dominant in the competition since June 2023, but their winning streak was abruptly halted by Iraq in their previous match.
The defeat marked the end of their 11-match winning run in all competitions. Interestingly, Japan had also suffered consecutive defeats in the Asian Cup finals back in 1988, coincidentally against Qatar and now face the risk of missing the knockout stage for the first time in years.
On the other hand, Indonesia’s victory over Vietnam in their last match puts them in a position to progress to the knockout stage for the first time ever.
This win also matched the total points they accumulated in their previous two Asian Cup group stage appearances combined.
Shin Tae-yong, the Indonesian manager, has never lost against Japan in his managerial career, which adds another layer of intrigue to this encounter.
Japan’s Kaoru Mitoma missed their last match due to an ankle injury and remains a doubt for this game.
Manager Hajime Moriyasu made two changes in the previous match, bringing in Takefusa Kubo and Takuma Asano. Wataru Endo has been impressive, contributing with goals in both group fixtures.
Indonesia’s Rizky Ridho and Jordi Amat sustained minor knocks in the last match and may be doubtful for this crucial encounter.
Sandy Walsh and Egy Maulana were introduced in the starting lineup in the previous game, replacing Elkan Baggott and Ridho.
Captain Asnawi Mangkualam, who was questionable before the match against Vietnam, scored from the penalty spot and will be a key player for Indonesia.
Sugawara, Itakura, Tomiyasu, H. Ito;
J. Ito, Kubo, Minamino;
Mangkualam, Walsh, Prasetyo, Hubner, Arhan;
Sayuri, Jenner, Ferdinan, Sulaeman;
Prediction: Japan 3-0 Indonesia
Despite Indonesia’s impressive performance so far, they face a determined Japanese side eager to bounce back from their defeat. We predict a convincing 3-0 victory for Japan, as they aim to secure their spot in the last 16 of the Asian Cup.