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World Cup goal for Japan is quarterfinals — at least


AP Sports Writer

TOKYO (AP) — Japan soccer coach Hajime Moriyasu repeated his aim again for the World Cup. He says: “Our goal for the tournament is to reach the quarterfinal — and least. We know it won’t be easy.” This is an understatement. Japan is in Group E with Germany and Spain — two former World Cup champions — and Costa Rica, which made the quarterfinals in 2014 in Brazil. This is Japan’s seventh World Cup appearance, and it has reached the round of 16 on three occasions. In 2018 it lost 3-2 in stoppage time to Belgium after leading 2-0. It also was eliminated by Paraguay on penalties in 2010, and lost to Turkey 1-0 in 2002 when Japan co-hosted the event with South Korea.

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