SAMURAI BLUE holds final preparation session ahead of match against Tajikistan - 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Asian Qualification Round 2
15 October 2019
On Monday 14 October, one day before their match against the Tajikistan National Team at the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Asian qualifiers, coach MORIYASU Hajime of the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) appeared in the official press conference. When asked about the team’s condition, coach Moriyasu mentioned, “With the long travel and the four day rest following our match against Mongolia, there is a slight worry about our condition. However, our team has plenty of experience and we are confident that we can recover our conditions before the match.” The Japanese coach continued by stating, “In the away matches at the World Cup qualifiers, not only do we have to prepare ourselves to face the opponent, but we must also make the necessary adjustments to the given environment.”
On this day, the team held an official training session at the match venue, Republican Stadium, in the evening. With this being the third session held at this stadium, the players seemed to have gotten used to playing on artificial turf.
Following the session, NAGATOMO Yuto (Galatasaray S.K.) mentioned, “The Rugby Japan National Team has given many people hopes and dreams through their marvellous performances. We hope to match their enthusiasm and showcase a wonderful performance that can encourage the people of Japan.”
The SAMURAI BLUE will face the Tajikistan National Team on Tuesday 15 October at 17:15 local time (21:15 Japan time).
Coach and Players' Comments
MORIYASU Hajime, Coach of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
Japan was deeply affected by Typhoon No.19 and my deepest condolences go to all those who have lost their loved ones and have been affected by this awful tragedy. I am praying for a speedy recovery in those areas that were struck by this natural disaster. In tomorrow’s match, we hope to showcase a positive performance that can encourage those people who are working tirelessly to regain their normal lives.
We have reviewed numbers of matches played by Tajikistan. They are a well organised team with great individual techniques, strengths, and speed. We are aware that we have a slight disadvantage in terms of the team condition. While our opponent has not played any qualification matches in a while, we our coming off a four day rest following our match against Mongolia. However, our team has plenty of experience and we are confident that we can recover our conditions before the match. In the away matches at the World Cup qualifiers, not only do we have to prepare ourselves to face the opponent, but we must also make the necessary adjustments to the given environment. This time we had to make our adjustments to play on artificial turf, and I am confident that our players will do their best to showcase their top performance under this given circumstance. Our basic approach to the match will not change, so we will just have to make the necessary adjustments on the pitch depending on the pitch condition and the flow of the game. We are expecting to face a tough match tomorrow, but we will do our best to come home with a victory.
DF #5 NAGATOMO Yuto (Galatasaray S.K.)
You might think this is a tough away match, but we have been in much tougher situations before. With this given environment, I am confident that our team can showcase a strong performance. The pitch condition is very different from natural turf, but we had three days to adjust to it, so there should be no problem. We must not get worked up too much on the irregular factors, but rather focus on the fundamentals. Tajikistan has many great players with speed and power, so we must cope with their athleticism in order to showcase our usual performance. The Rugby Japan National Team has given many people hopes and dreams through their marvellous performances. We hope to match their enthusiasm and showcase a wonderful performance that can encourage the people of Japan.
MF #17 KUBO Takefusa (RCD Mallorca)
I have experience playing on artificial turf, so I feel like I have an edge over my teammates in terms of the pitch condition. I have watched some of the matches played by Tajikistan and I was getting the impression that we need to be careful of their wing players and the defensive midfielders. I hope to showcase a performance that can contribute to the team’s victory. I have heard that the Rugby Canada National Team has volunteered to the reconstruction efforts in the affected areas of Typhoon No. 19. Many athletes are doing what they can to help the people affected by this natural disaster. I am not sure how much help I can be, but I will do my best to encourage the people through my performance on the field.
2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar and AFC Asian Cup China PR 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification - Round 2
Tajikistan National Team vs SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
Match Date: Tue. 15 October 2019, 17:15 (21:15 Japan time)
Match Venue: Republican Central Stadium, Tajikistan
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