• Kyodo

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Southampton defender Maya Yoshida says Japan must treat the United Arab Emirates “like Brazil” in its final-round World Cup qualifier in Saitama on Thursday and has warned the Blue Samurai that they cannot afford a repeat of the start they made against UAE in their quarterfinal defeat at last year’s Asian Cup in Australia.

“Every single game (in qualifying) is a battle but getting off to a winning start is the most important thing,” said Yoshida. “We have to prepare to put everything out there in the first match. As our coach always tells us, we have to battle like we are playing Brazil.”

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