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WC Qualification Asia

  • November 11, 2011
  • • 09:00
  • • Respublikanskiy Stadion im. M.V. Frunze, Dushanbe
  • Referee: Dong-Jin Kim
  • • Attendance: 18000

AFC 2014 World Cup Qualifying Preview: Tajikistan v Japan

AFC 2014 World Cup Qualifying Preview: Tajikistan v Japan

Visitors' hope to secure their spot in the next round of qualifying with a win, while outgunned Tajikistan are simply aiming to sandbag for as long as they can


Radzhabov, Ergashev, Savankulov, Sabourov
Fatkhulloev, Davronov, Rabimov, Ortikov
Saidov, Sadykov


Uchida, Yoshida, Konno, Komano
Hasebe, Endo
Okazaki, Nakamura, Kagawa

Japan will try to punch their ticket to the next round of World Cup qualifying with two key away matches to end their 2011 international season, while Tajikistan hope to keep their slim qualifying hopes alive.

For the visitors, Friday's match brings challenges of the environmental sort. Japan clearly have the upper hand in talent, having dominated in last month’s 8-0 victory in Osaka. But the hosts will be prepared to handle conditions much different from that of Nagai Stadium. Tajikistan has already seen significant snowfall this autumn, and the pitch at Duschanbe Stadium has been described as "mostly dirt" by Japan captain Makoto Hasebe.

Because of the ground conditions, Japan are expected to forgo their usual passing game and rely on the long ball, meaning 1.94m striker Mike Havenaar is likely to earn another start.

  • Three different players scored braces in Japan's 8-0 win over Tajikistan last month.
  • Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni is undefeated in all 16 matches since assuming his post.
  • Tajikistan have lost their last five matches, scoring just one goal and conceding 16.
  • This is Japan's first trip to Tajikistan.

  • Japanese centre-back Yasayuki Konno and midfielder/captain Makoto Hasebe are the only players to have started every match under Zaccheroni.
  • The Tajik capital of Dushanbe means "Monday" in Persian; it was originally built on the site of a Monday market.

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Players to watch

A. Tuychiev

Position: Goalkeeper

Games: 3

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The 35-year-old veteran will often - again - be the last person standing between Japan and a goal. With Japan's shot count sure to decrease in this match, Tuychiev could be a difference-maker if he comes through with some big saves.

M. Havenaar

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
Havenaar's height makes him Japan's best target for long balls and crosses; with pitch conditions as poor as they are he will be seeing a lot of both. He won't want to disappoint the many scouts from both Japan and abroad who will be watching.

Editor's Prediction

The hosts won't be embarassed as thoroughly as they were in Osaka but Japan will still triumph easily. It will be a (relatively) low-scoring affair only because Samurai Blue won't be able to pass the ball cleanly on a surface that's more brown than green. Japanese goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima will once again find himself with very little to do as his 10 team-mates carry the water.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head




Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Tajikistan TJK
Tajikistan Tajikistan
Japan JPN
Japan Japan

Top 3 Predictions

Tajikistan TJK
0 - 3
Japan JPN
Tajikistan TJK
0 - 4
Japan JPN
Tajikistan TJK
1 - 0
Japan JPN