Okazaki hungry for success
Striker urges Japan to create history and defeat Paraguay
By Razwan Mirza. Last Updated: 26/06/10 5:58pm
Okazaki: Preparing for Paraguay
Japan striker Shinji Okazaki has urged his countrymen to create history and claim a spot in the World Cup quarter-finals by defeating Paraguay at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Tuesday.
The Blue Samurai sealed victories against Cameroon and Denmark in Group E to claim a place in the last 16 for the first time on foreign soil.
Okazaki came off the bench to score the final goal in the 3-1 victory over the Danes and now the striker is confident that Takeshi Okada's side can advance to the quarter-finals of the tournament in South Africa.
"We didn't have a South American team in our group and I expect there will be fiercer tackling for the ball and the most important thing is that we don't lose those battles," he said.
"We have been winning those battles and that is how we have got this far. If we stay confident then I think we can keep winning. We have got nothing to lose."
The 24-year-old was relieved to score his first World Cup goal and effectively knock Morten Olsen's side out of the tournament and now the Shimizu S-Pulse forward is determined to add to his tally.
"After getting a lot of texts from my friends it sunk in (that I had scored at the World Cup) and now I am hungry for more," he added.
"I have got an image of how I want to play at this tournament."