Defence could hinder Japan, admits Honda

Japan striker Keisuke Honda has admitted that his side’s chances at the World Cup could be hindered by their leaky defence, Goal.com is reporting.

Despite looking impressive going forward, Japan conceded nine goals in their three games at the 2013 Confederations Cup, and they are continuing to struggle at the back, with three goals conceded in a recent friendly win over Zambia.

That was their third straight win, but having been placed in a competitive looking World Cup group alongside Colombia, Greece and the Ivory Coast, Honda admits that his side does need to learn how to control matches better.

“Just like the last match [3-1 win over Costa Rica] we allowed the other team to score the first goal, and that’s still a big issue for us to deal with. As for how we carried the match, we allowed them [Zambia] to control the initiative many times over 90 minutes and that’s not good.

‘We have to figure out what went wrong before the next match. I can’t say exactly what happened without looking at the video.”

Along with Manchester United’s Shinji Kagawa, Honda is seen as one of Japan’s key players, having helped them into the knockout stages of the World Cup in 2010. He comes into the tournament having scored two goals in 16 appearances for Milan, whom he joined in January.

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