SAMURAI BLUE hold first practice session in Singapore before Brazil match on 14 Oct
13 October 2014
On 12 October, SAMURAI BLUE (the Japan National Team) held their first practice session in Singapore in preparation for the friendly against Brazil in the new Singapore National Stadium on 14 October.
The following day after their first victory against Jamaica with a score of 1-0 in the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2014, the players, who flew from Niigata for 10 hours, held two sessions - one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
Although it was slightly overcast, the temperature and the humidity were much higher than in Niigata. The players divided into two groups: those who started the match against Jamaica and those who did not, and did some light exercise, separate from the three goalkeepers. The former group, including the forward HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan) and SHIBASAKI Gaku (Kashima Antlers), who started the game, did some easy training including some stretches to recover from the Jamaica match. On the other hand, the latter group, including the forward KAKITANI Yoichiro (FC Basel), practiced all the way from the build-up to shots on goal.
They held a private practice session in the evening, but there was a sudden thunderstorm and they had to move inside to continue their practice. They checked their movements, adjusting themselves ahead of the match against Brazil in two days.
In the morning, 130 children, including pupils from a local Japanese school, the members of Albirex Niigata Singapore and the children, who participated in the UNIQLO Soccer Kids event, paid a visit to see the practice session.
Before the training, there were smiles all around, taking a commemorative photo with the players. The children watched the players closely from the seats during the practice, cheering whenever a player shot at goal.
The friendly against Brazil will kick-off at 18:45 (19:45 Japan Time) on 14 October.
NAGATOMO Yuto (F.C. Internazionale Milano)
As Brazil have some top-level players, it’s vital we play well individually, not to mention harmoniously as a team. Whenever we show them our weakness, they will definitely attack that point. So it’s essential we make a move and approach first.
The members of the national team keep changing, but with any teammates and against any team, we must stay proud and play at our best. Although I am finding some difficulties in the new team, I’m looking forward to playing the match to learn something new on the pitch.
MORISHIGE Masato (FC Tokyo)
It’s important how we play to win the game, knowing and understanding the opponent. I think it will be a good opportunity for us to get to know our level in the world by playing against Brazil. We have to play at our best, including one-on-one and using our attacking tactics. How we play is the vital thing when coming up against a strong team. As it will be the fourth match since Aguirre became the head coach, we’re still trying out what we want to do. I think all we need is to bring to this game what we have learned in the previous three matches.
TANAKA Junya (Sporting)
If I have my go on the pitch, I’d like to show my skills, which are different from Kagawa. I think we need to increase the accuracy of our shots as a team, and I’d like to contribute to my team there. I can also try long-distance shots more eagerly. Although I really want to stay up front, I doubt Brazil will let me do it. In that case, I will defend solidly, waiting for an opportunity for a counter-attack. We have practiced our defending and attacking style. So all we need is follow the coach’s instruction. I’m looking forward to this match and really want to win.
KAWASHIMA Eiji (Standard Liege)
We have to bring in to this game what we’ve learned since September. As each individual Brazilian player is very strong, it’s vital that we prevent each player’s movement. I think we will feel frustrated during the game, but we have to deal with it. It’s a good opportunity for our team to be here, as some of our teammates haven’t played abroad and experienced this heat or flights. Having said that, I’d rather not say this match is only for our ‘experience’. The stronger team doesn’t always win the game.
OKAZAKI Shinji (1.FSV Mainz)
It’s vital not to miss our opportunities and to use our limited chances effectively, when we are pressed by Brazil. We became more confident after the victory against Jamaica, as that was what we were aiming at. I’m looking forward to seeing how we can play against Brazil, one of the strongest teams in the world. If we win, we can go as far as we want. I’d like to concentrate well while I play without any careless mistakes throughout the match.
Nishikawa Shusaku Interview
Okazaki Shinji Interview
Shibasaki Gaku Interview
International Friendly Match
Tuesday, 14 October 2014 Kickoff at 18:45 (local time) 19:45(Japan Time)
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) vs Brazil National Team
Singapore/The Singapore National Stadium
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