Saturday June 22, 2013
Kick off: 20:00
1st Round: Group A
Japan will need to replace captain Makoto Hasebe, who is suspended after picking up two yellow cards. Hajime Hogosai, Kengo Nakamura or Hideto Takahashi all provide options for coach Alberto Zaccheroni.
Mexico coach Jose Manuel de la Torre could drop Jorge Torres Nilo after the defender’s poor performance against Brazil. Carlos Salcido may drop back to fill in at left-back, with Angel Reyna primed to step into midfield.
Alberto Zaccheroni: “It’s not possible for us in just one year to get to level of Italy, Spain, Brazil etc but we want to reduce the gap as much as possible and that’s why are trying to accumulate useful experience. We have seen as regard playing ability we are nearly there. Now we need to add experience. Clearly for the rest of the year we are going to have to experiment with other formations in order to be less predictable. And especially for when we can’t play as fast.”
Jose Manuel de la Torre: “Whatever the result against Japan, it won’t lose me the support of my players or my bosses [at the Mexican FA]. For the sake of our pride, we really want to win this game. We don’t want to bow out without any points, particularly since our aims [for this competition] had been so different.”