Liverpool FC’s men’s team continue on with their much deserved mini-hiatus so naturally it’d be good to take a look at the international fixtures involving our Reds. Earlier today, Wataru Endo and the Japanese National Team kicked off their Asian Cup campaign in a tilt against Vietnam.
The Reds midfielder captained the side and was joined by former Red Takumi Minamino. The latter player opened up the scoring for the Blue Samurai. Unfortunately, Vietnam countered with two goals, pulling ahead and giving fans of the Golden Star Warriors a bit of hope.
Alas, Japan’s quality showed through as they notched an equalizer, again through Minamino, and the go-ahead goal all before the first half expired. Japan added one more goal for insurance in the second half and saw the rest of the match through as expected.
Most Reds would love it if both Wataru and fellow Red Mohamed Salah - who also kicked off their tournament run in the African Cup of Nations today - might have shorter cup runs and return to Liverpool healthy and in short order. Of course, no one would begrudge them the added success of lifting a trophy provided their health remains intact.
Still, given how quickly Japan managed to respond to Vietnam and the relative standing in their group, the Blue Samurai have to be easy favorites to progress in the tournament. Whether or not they’ll be able to see through a deep run will be up to their effort and the grace of the Football Gods, but one would say that it wouldn’t be a surprise should they find themselves hanging around near the end of the tournament.