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Maya Yoshida: 'Stopping Romelu Lukaku will be tough'

Yoshida: 'Stopping Lukaku will be tough'
© Reuters
Japan defender Maya Yoshida concedes that he will not be able to stop Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku from scoring on his own in Monday's last-16 tie.

Maya Yoshida has revealed that Japan intend to double up on Romelu Lukaku in an attempt to stop the Belgium striker from scoring in their World Cup last-16 clash.

Lukaku has four goals to his name from two group-stage outings in Russia to trail only England's Harry Kane in the Golden Boot standings.

The Red Devils' record all-time scorer has netted 23 times in his last 20 international outings, including four goals from four shots in this summer's tournament, and Yoshida is in no doubt that halting Lukaku's streak will be no easy task.

"I know Lukaku is a fantastic player and I cannot stop him by myself," he told reporters. "We have to fight and defend as a group and attack as a group.

"We have never got to the quarter-final before. It's a new challenge for us to get through and hopefully we will make a new history for Japanese football."

Lukaku, who has 40 goals in 71 Belgium caps, sat out the 1-0 win over England on Monday due to a minor injury.

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Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates scoring their second goal in the friendly against Costa Rica on June 11, 2018
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