【KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019 Preview】SAMURAI BLUE to face Trinidad and Tobago at Toyota Stadium
17 April 2019
On Wednesday 5 June, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) will face the Trinidad and Tobago National Team in the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019 at Toyota Stadium, Aichi.
Trinidad and Tobago to showcase team unity
In the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019 match scheduled in June, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) will welcome two teams form the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF), Trinidad and Tobago and El Salvador. For Trinidad and Tobago, this match will serve as an important test match ahead of the CONCACAF Gold Cup (15 June - 7 July @USA), as Coach Dennis LAWRENCE mentioned, “We will enter our final phase of preparation.”
Trinidad and Tobago was ranked 93rd in the most recent FIFA ranking, updated on 4 April, while Japan sits in 26th. However, they have played a close match against the Wales National Team, who ranks 19th in the ranking, in an international friendly match played on 20 March. Despite losing 0-1 in the away match, Trinidad and Tobago kept the Wales side scoreless until additional time of the second half. The two centre halves, Daneil CYRUS and Sheldon BATEAU utilised their height advantage to deflect the balls away, while Levi GARCIA and Nathan LEWIS penetrated the flanks to exploit the space behind the opposing defence line. The team does not have players playing for the big clubs in Europe, but they are capable of playing with great unity to compete against the top teams of the world.
High hopes to see young players rise to the occasion
The only time the two sides have faced each other was at the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2006. The match was played just after Trinidad and Tobago made their first and only FIFA World Cup participation in Germany. Japan won the match 2-0 with the brace scored by SANTOS Alessandro to start off the tenure under Coach Ivica OSIM with a victory.
In the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019 matches played in March, Japan has faced two South American sides, Columbia and Bolivia. During these two matches, Japan gave up just one goal, which was from a penalty kick conceded against Colombia. Following the matches, Coach MORIYASU Hajime praised his team by mentioning, “The players are adapting to our team strategy,” but continued by stating, “Someone has to step and be more critical in the front line.” It is expected that Japan will have high possession of the ball in the match against Trinidad and Tobago. The team must find ways to crack open the opposing defence line who will have added numbers. Ahead of their challenge at the Copa America, Japan will hope to see a new hero emerge from their squad.
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) vs Trinidad and Tobago National Team
Match Date: Wed. 5 June 2019 Kick-off time 19:30
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Aichi
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