Coach Moriyasu of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team), “Will be eager to win and showcase strong intention to fight” at the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2018【9/11＠Osaka vs Costa Rica】
11 September 2018
On Monday 10 September, one day ahead of their KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2018 match against the Costa Rica National Team, Coach MORIYASU Hajime of the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) appeared in an official press-conference at the match venue, Panasonic Stadium Suita in Osaka to share his aspiration on his first match as the head coach, “We will be eager to win the match and showcase a strong intention to fight.”
Following the team’s round of 16 appearance at the FIFA World Cup this summer, Coach Moriyasu took the helm of the SAMURAI BLUE and this match represents their first step towards the 2022 World Cup.
At the beginning of the press-conference Coach Moriyasu addressed his condolence towards the recent events of Typhoon Jebi and the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake, “I send my sincerest sympathies to those affected by these natural disasters and I am hoping for a quick recovery so that everyone can return to their normal lives as soon as possible.”
The team had begun their activities on Monday 3 as they prepared ahead of the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2018 match against the Chile National Team scheduled on Friday 7, however the match was cancelled due to the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake that struck the Hokkaido region in the early hours of Thursday 6, making this match against Costa Rica their first match under the new coach.
Coach Moriyasu stated that, “We don’t want to waste the time we have spent thus far, buy rather utilise it in this match.” He continued by mentioning, “We will showcase our persistency and fight through the entire match so that we can encourage the people at the affected areas.”
Regarding his approach towards the match, the coach shared his take, “It would have been ideal if we could work on what we saw in the first match to build the team, but for now we will keep our emphasis on winning the match. We will showcase our strong intention to win each ball and put on display the fusion of our techniques and discipline through this match.”
Japan’s opponent, Costa Rica is ranked 32nd in the FIFA Rankings, while Japan sits at 55th. In the recent World Cup, which was their fifth appearance overall, they were grouped in the same group as Brazil and Switzerland, where they were eliminated at the group stage after marking a draw and two loses. Similar to Japan, they have also made a change in their head coach following the World Cup, as Coach Ronald GONZALEZ, a former national team member, took the helm and started their road towards 2022 by facing the Korea Republic National Team on Friday 7, where they loss the match 0-2.
The travel squad arriving in Japan includes team captain Oscar DUARTE and many other members who participated in the World Cup, especially in their defence, but their offence line featured many young players. Costa Rica has been well known for their solid defence, but in the match against Korea Republic, they have displayed an unconventional four back system, a formation they haven’t employed in the past.
Ahead of their match up against the Central American side, Coach Moriyasu described his opponents, “Costa Rica is a team that consists very talented players that can also play collectively as a team.” He also mentioned regarding the formation change they have observed in the Korea Republic match, “We will keep ourselves flexible to make the necessary adjustments against any system they may employ.”
On this day both teams held an official training session at the match venue, where the first 15 minutes of the session was open to the media. The players of the SAMURAI BLUE were seen stretching and playing keep away in the first 15 minutes to loosen up their body. Once the session went under closed doors, the team went through their tactics ahead of the match.
Defender MAKINO Tomoaki (Urawa Red Diamonds) shared his confidence ahead of the match, “We have managed to put in quality sessions within the limited time frame. The coach has given us themes to work on, so we will do our best to execute our game plan in our match tomorrow.”
Japan has a head-to-head record against Costa Rica of two wins and a tie.
The JFA will conduct a fundraiser at the match venue, Panasonic Stadium Suita on Tuesday 11, to support the affected areas of the recent natural disasters. Initially the fundraiser was aimed to support the affected areas of the massive rain storm that struck the western region of Japan, but with the recent tragedy caused by Typhoon Jebi and the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake, the fundraiser will be held to relief a wider area.
The match will be held at Panasonic Stadium Suita on Tuesday 11 September, with a scheduled kick-off time of 19:20.
Coach and Players' Comments
MORIYASU Hajime, Coach of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
I send my sincerest sympathies to those affected by Typhoon Jebi and the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake. I am hoping for a quick recovery for those who are affected by these recent tragedies in western Japan, Kansai region, and Hokkaido, so that everyone can return to their normal lives as soon as possible. It would have been ideal if we could have utilised many players in the two matches while working on what we saw in the first match to build the team in the second match, but for now we will keep our emphasis on giving our very best in this one match. We are aware that so many people are supporting us at a daily basis. We want to send a message to encourage those who are affected in Osaka, Kansai region and Hokkaido. We will showcase our persistency and fight through the entire match so that we can encourage the people at the affected areas. I want my players to have confidence in their strengths and be able to showcase their full potential, while playing together as a team. As much as we need individual talents, we still need discipline and organisation, so I will demand both from my players to strive for a better performance at the World Cup.
MF #8 MINAMINO Takumi (FC Red Bull Salzburg)
I am very excited and looking forward for tomorrow’s match. If I am given the opportunity to play on the pitch, I will give my best to help the team. My motivations are high. The more we train together, the more we can deepen our understandings with each other, and we are in great form right now, so we hope to showcase what we are capable of doing.
MF #15 MISAO Kento (Kashima Antlers)
We have spoken within the team that we wanted to showcase a performance that can give power and encourage those who are affected by the recent tragedies in Hokkaido and the Kansai region. I will enter the match tomorrow with a strong intention to encourage everyone who are watching the match.
MF #17 AOYAMA Toshihiro (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
Despite given a short period of time to work with the team, Coach Moriyasu has shown his character and the players are capable of expressing what the coach wants to display on the pitch. I am aware that I am here because of Coach Moriyasu, so I must keep that in mind when I play. My role is to give my very best to help the team, so I will do whatever it takes to execute my job.
RONALD GONZALEZ, Coach (Costa Rica National Team)
I am aware that the Japan National Team is facing a generation change, and that many new players are being called up to the team. But regardless of who they call up, they will still showcase a performance with great speed and power. So, we must find ways to contain their strengths in our match tomorrow. The end result is important, but our main focus will be on how our players perform and how they display their character.
Tue. 11 September Scheduled Kick-off time 19:20 @Panasonic Stadium Suita, Osaka
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) vs Costa Rica National Team
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