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Japan manager Vahid Halilhodzic has warned his players that they are in for a rude surprise if they tackle next week’s World Cup qualifier against Iraq with the same laissez-faire attitude with which they began Wednesday’s 1-1 friendly draw with Syria.

“In the first half, I think there were some players taking the game too lightly,” said Halilhodzic, who takes his team to neutral Tehran to face Iraq on Tuesday. “That’s something that I can’t accept. I think some of the players were surprised by how hard our opponents fought and how much quality they had.”

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