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Japan fear Aussie battlers

11 Jun 2006 - 11:59:59

Several of Japan's squad have voiced their concerns over Australia's physical approach to the game.

The Socceroos came in for some heavy criticism following a recent 1-1 friendly draw against the Netherlands, with midfielder Luke Wilkshire sent off during a fiery encounter.

That has left some in the Blue Samurai camp fearing a repeat when the two sides come face to face in Kaiserslautern on Monday.

Japan Football Association chief Saburo Kawabuchi commented: "Australia are guilty of a lot of dirty fouls. They target ankles in particular. They are too terrible.

"Japan must stand up to them. The first match will be decisive in this group.

Midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura added: "Don't shy away from hard play. Use them to your advantage instead.

"We have to go forward with two touches in midfield and cut in with a dribble or a one-two pass toward the goal to provoke a foul. Then it means a goal for us."


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