FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) – Meticulous planning and execution are everything in Japanese soccer. So when the team falls behind, there is a system to rely on, a belief that there is a way back.
Coach Norio Sasaki has been planning for this moment since the 2008 Olympics. Japan finished fourth in Beijing, which the coach says was the intent all along.
Now he adds: ''This time we said, let's go to the final.''