Coach Masashi Nambu of Japan (left) with coach Moon Yong-Kwan of Korea (right)
Osaka, Japan, June 19, 2015 - A week after Korea and Japan split their two-game series in Suwon, the two sides now converge on Osaka where coach Masashi Nambu of Japan hopes the home crowd can given his team an edge. Korea played very different matches at home, and despite battling a few injuries, coach Moon Yong-Kwan is looking for a more consistent performance in Japan over the weekend.
Japan coach Masashi Nambu said: "Just one week ago we had two matches in Korea, where we won on Saturday, but lost on Sunday. I was amazed by the playing style of Korea on Sunday, relative to their game on Saturday. From tomorrow, I’ll have our players serving hard in order to pressure Korea’s reception."
On his history of matches against Korea coach Moon Yong-Kwan, Nambu said: "When I was a player, I met with coach Moon about 20 years ago. And when I was the coach of Panasonic Panthers here in Osaka, Mr Moon was the coach of the Korean Airlines team, and we once met in a friendly match. I never dreamed that we would eventually meet in international play as coaches of our respective national teams. So I’m really looking forward to a good match here."
Korea coach Moon Yong-Kwan said: "We wanted to win both matches last week, but with a win and a loss, it wasn’t the outcome we hoped for. We have a few injured players, and we’ve just finished a rather long domestic league play, so our conditioning is not optimal. However, for us this is a good chance to think about how we can replace some of our important players. So our substitutions can get an opportunity to play here in Osaka, and I hope to use as many players as possible."
On player Myung-Geun Song: He just joined the national team last year. And for this Korea team, this is a sort of a passing-of-the-torch moment for us with core members getting older. He will be a key part of that. He doesn’t have much international experience, but I hope to use him a lot in order to make him a more experience player.