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    Equatorial Guinea




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Cristal Arena

Referee: Serge Gumienny | Attendance: 18000

* Local time based on your geographic location.


  • Yuya Osako 44'
  • Keisuke Honda 60'

2 - 2



  • Rafael Van der Vaart 12'
  • Arjen Robben 38'

Japan v Netherlands: Preview

Holland coach Louis van Gaal is hoping some of his lesser lights can grab their opportunity in the absence of Robin van Persie against Japan on Saturday.

The Manchester United striker withdrew from the squad on Tuesday due to groin and toe injuries, leaving the Oranje short of attacking options.

With Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Ricky van Wolfswinkel also unavailable and Dirk Kuyt having already withdrawn from the squad due to a hamstring injury, Van Gaal may have to experiment.

Norwich's Leroy Fer has been called into the squad and Jeremain Lens and Siem de Jong also provide attacking options as Van Gaal puts in place possible contingency plans for next year's World Cup.

``It will be interesting to see how we manage without Van Persie,'' he told a press conference.

``We have to show how we are when he's not available. That could always be a scenario in Brazil.''

He added: ``Because Van Wolfswinkel and Huntelaar are injured, we don't have many strikers. They are the ones behind Van Persie, but that can change if someone steps up now.

``Siem de Jong is a back-up plan in case of emergency, just like he is at Ajax. Lens is also an option as central striker, especially when we go ahead in a match.

``It's nice to experience something like this so we can solve a problem.''

Van Persie has scored four goals in his last five games for United but Van Gaal has revealed he may not have picked him to face Japan in Genk anyway as he feels the player is in need of a break.

The 30-year-old played in both of Holland's World Cup qualifiers in October, scoring a hat-trick against Hungary, but he was withdrawn at half-time against Turkey.

``When we played Turkey, Van Persie also wasn't 100 per cent, but because he's an important player, he was there anyway,'' he said.

``Van Persie called me on Sunday and we discussed the situation.

``He didn't really have a holiday this summer, because he had to go to Asia with United. He just went on and on.

``It's smart to keep in mind what that does to a player. Even if we had an important match, I wouldn't have played him this time.''

Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni insists he is not feeling the pressure despite two losses in their last two friendlies in Europe.

Defeats to Serbia and Belarus, neither of whom have qualified for the World Cup next year, raised some eyebrows in the Far East but the Italian coach is simply focused on performances and not results.

``At the moment it's more important to play well than to get results,'' he told a press conference when announcing his squad.

``We've played in four competitions where the results counted - the Asian Cup, the World Cup qualifiers, the Confederations Cup and the East Asian Cup. The only one we didn't win was the Confederations Cup.

``Now the big goal is the World Cup and we are working to prepare for that as best we can. Winning a handful of games now is not the main objective.''

With many of the Japan players based in Europe, there should not be any problems adjusting to the style of play for the visitors but Zaccheroni is still eager to see how his team weigh up against Holland.

``Germany have had better results, but since 2009 there hasn't been a better team in the world than the Netherlands,'' he said.

``I'm looking forward to seeing how we match up against them. The Netherlands have great movement.''


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