Japan survived the last game on the quarter final in AFC Asian Cup 2019.
It was a tough game too.
Japan's movements to find and create spaces were scarce in the game.
I have felt Japanese offensive players lacked the credibility for each other, so there was a lack in mobility and mutual understanding when attacking.
Maybe this has partly come from the scarcity of time when they have played with.
Under such a situation, players adept at dribbling and trapping who create time for the other players thinking and moving are effective, but the name of the Japanese player who is fit for this in this time national team wasn't written on the list of the starting line-up.
After Osako-sensyu, who have played very often in Japanese national team and whose play style every members of the team knows, showed up in the pitch, this problem was somewhat solved and the offensive performance improved.
Japan's next opponent on the semi-final is Iran.
They have been under the guidance of a great commander, Carlos Queiroz head coach for nearly 8 years.
It's not too much to say they are in the period of maturity in football team tactics.
It will be a tremendous experience for the young players of Samurai Blue to undergo a serious match against Iran this time.
Iranian national team has many strong suits, and the most outstanding parts of them are consistency in tactics, intensity, and its iron wall defense where the team has kept on making clean sheets so far in this competition.
Japan needs more mobility in attacking.
I hope in the next match there will be increases in the number and quality of dribbling and challenges and movements in Samurai Blue to make and use spaces.
I think it will be effective for Japanese national team to pass the initiative in keeping the ball to Iran and aim at the space emerged behind Iran's high defense line.
To keep on using the space effectively and endure Iran's intense attacks, all the Japanese players in the pitch will be required to be consistent in their tactics.
I hope their tactics will work and Japan will advance further.
I am looking forward to watching a nice semi-final match!