Honda gearing up for more success

Keisuke HondaKeisuke Honda scored one goal and made another in a scintillating performance for Japan [ Images ] on Thursday but said he is not satisfied with guiding his team into the last 16 at the World Cup finals.

Honda's left foot worked like a magic wand at times in Japan's 3-1 victory against Denmark in their final Group E contest.

But, he said, he is not as happy as he expects to feel, before adding that this dazzling Japan side, which produced spells of superbly fluent soccer has a lot further to go in this tournament.

"I am not as jubilant as I had expected because we are not finished," he said. "We have to go further, step by step. We can be the team that continues this way."

Honda, 24, proved both he and Japan have the potential to make an impact with a devastatingly skilful display as the Asian side claimed a place in the second round on foreign soil for the first time.

He opened the scoring with a stunning 30-metres free kick and, after Yasuhito Endo had scored from another excellent free kick, laid on Japan's third for substitute striker Shinji Okazaki after the Danes had replied through Jon Dahl Tomasson.

"This is a big win for Japan," he said. "Our coach told us today not to concentrate on defence but to attack and that attitude gave us confidence.

"I talked to him (Okazaki) before the game and together we said that we would both score. So tonight, of course, we are happy."

Having come into the tournament on the back of a poor run of results, Japan have emerged as one of the surprise sides and coach Takeshi Okada said he would prepare for more success when they face Paraguay in Pretoria next Tuesday.

"This is not the end and we will focus again on what we can achieve," said Okada, who told his players before the tournament to aim for the semi-finals. "We will be ready to face Paraguay."

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