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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2014 10/10 TOP > NEWS > Japan fall to Brazil in first game overseas


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Japan fall to Brazil in first game overseas

15 October 2014

Japan fall to Brazil in first game overseas

The Japan men’s national team, dubbed SAMURAI BLUE, took on Brazil in an international friendly at the new Singapore national stadium on Tuesday, and fell 0-4 as Neymar scored four times.
Japan failed to have their first consecutive wins. SAMURAI BLUE has now gone 1-1-2 since Javier Aguirre took over as head coach.

The new coach for Japan came in the game with a surprising starting squad against Brazil, a five-time FIFA World Cup champions. The Mexican changed six players from the previous game, putting FC Tokyo’s Ota Kosuke as the left side back, Nagoya Grampus midfielder Taguchi Taishi as the anchor man, Vissel Kobe’s Morioka Ryota in the left mid field and Kawasaki Frontale forward Kobayashi Yu in the right of the three-man front. Aguirre put AC Milan forward Honda Keisuke and Inter Milan midfielder Nagatomo Yuto in the bench.

Brazil has been in a process of rebuilding the team since they came up short in this summer World Cup. Their starting lineup stayed the same from their match against Argentina of three days before. They tried to overwhelm the Japanese players with the nimble moves by Neymar and forward Diego Tardelli, who struck twice in the Argentine game.
Japan created blocks while their defensive corps tried to hold Neymar off, but they paid attention too much on Neymar and had a hard time capturing Diego Tardelli, who was moving around.

On 17th minute, Neymar threatened the Japan goal as he fired a shot with his right foot, which hit the goal post. But a minute later, Diego Tardelli through-ed a pass and Neymar received it. He penetrated into the box and dodged a Japanese defender and goalkeeper Kawashima Eiji to net a goal.
Japan attempted to rally as Kobayashi volleyed a cleared ball by a Brazilian player with his left leg, but it went above the cross bar. On 30th, Kashima Antlers midfielder Shibasaki Gaku reacted to a cleared ball by Brazil and had a middle shot, and five minutes later 1.FSV Mainz forward Okazaki Shinji headed an early cross of Stuttgart defender Sakai Gotoku. Right before the first half ended, Sanfrecce Hiroshima defender Shiotani Tsukasa reacted to a loose ball after Sporting midfielder Tanaka Junya kicked a cross. But neither shot was fired within the goal mouth.

Japan substituted Morioka for Honda in the second half, yet allowed the second goal to Brazil in an unexpected fashion on 48th minute, when Neymar intercepted a Japan pass and dribbled it, and netted it in the end.
That gave Brazil even more momentum. Neymar created scoring chances while Philippe Coutinho, who came in as a substitute, and Neymar himself threatened the Japan goal. And on 77th, Neymar scored another by putting in a deflected ball that was shot by Philippe Coutinho. On 81st, Robinho and Kaka ran up in the left side on a counter. Neymar had his fourth goal of the night on a pass from that direction.

Japan sent FC Tokyo forward Muto Yoshinori, Hertha Berliner midfielder Hosogai Hajime, FC Basel forward Kakitani Yoichiro and Kashiwa Reysol defender Suzuki Daisuke into the pitch from the bench, yet were unable to drag the momentum. But Kakitani fired a shot on a cross in the 89th minute and Muto in the stoppage time, but they were stopped by opposing players and the game-ending whistle was blown.
With the loss, Japan has put up two draws and nine losses against Brazil.


Javier AGUIRRE, Head Coach
We were able to put up some fights having some good times in the first time. We held the opponents with the minimum deficit in the first half, while we had a good chance from Okazaki, but the second goal was just too huge a damage to us. It happened when we were trying to score, but made a mistake and gave it up. We tried to rally afterwards, but our throw-in and set-plays ended up being their chances, plus we allowed such a great player in Neymar to have his game against us. The difference with Brazil may be our young age. We used seven players that are playing in the J. League for today, but after we gave up the second goal, those players who played against a powerhouse team of the world for the first time wound up losing their confidence. The reason why we used those young players was that we wanted to see their characters and judge on whom we could use for an important tournament in the Asian Cup. We were able to earn a lot of outcomes.

MF MORISHIGE Masato (FC Tokyo)
I wish I could won the game today even with different team member. I was anticipating we might have a chance to win if we score goal in one chance as we looking for offence opportunity while holding a good defence. I think the game result is fair given the difference of ability of two teams. Making one mistake results in conceding a goal, this is what all of us felt. Based on this, I have built 4-1-4-1 block and looked for attacking opportunity from this system. I am still searching for what style of football we should play according to opponent’s play style.

FW OKAZAKI Shinji (1.FSV Mainz 05)
It gave me a lesson that is something we should avoid to concede goal that way. Usually we attacked by individual skill and allocated too many players which resulted in taken up the ball for counter-attack. Absolutely we need to improve skills of forward players if we are to fight out in just by two to three players. Playing defensive soccer for containing the other side and losing the battle is the last thing we should do. We have to enhance risk management much more and I have to score goal as forward player. But sometimes it worked. In the first half, as we could play what we practiced, where to keep the ball for a cross and making chances from there, I believe it is worth keep trying this style of football.

FW MUTO Yoshinori (FC Tokyo)
Honestly, I didn’t have a positive feeling today because I couldn’t do a play which leads to scoring goal. I, actually it would have been positive day if I had scored it. That was only once I did a good play by breaking down the defence but means nothing for coming off the bench if I couldn’t score goal. I know Brazil is top team in the world. I was trying to demonstrate my strength but there is still long way to go. Every aspect of Brazilian players, every single skill and level of physical strength, is far ahead of me. I guess this should be the only thing I picked up from today’s game.

Dunga, Head Coach (Brazil National Team)
I am really pleased we won two games in Asian tour, against Argentina competing for the world’s number one spot and Japan who made a big change in starters. Through Argentine match, I figured Neymar should be better fit concentrating on attack and just leave it to his improvisation in attack freely. He is dramatically developing his skills and he looked enjoy playing football as if he were playing with his friends. I think Japan is heading for a right direction after the World Cup under a new manager and improving what should be changed. Regarding Brazil national team, once you are not selected you are required to do a hard work to come back to the squad after other player taking up the position. But I believe repeating this process help bringing about stronger team performance.


  • FW HONDA Keisuke


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