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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2015 03/27 TOP > NEWS > Tunisia national team arrive in Japan for KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2015


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Tunisia national team arrive in Japan for KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2015

26 March 2015

Tunisia national team arrive in Japan for KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2015

Tunisia’s national team arrived in Japan for the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2015 to be held on Friday 27 March at Oita Stadium in Oita.

As they took another flight to Oita again after arriving at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport in the afternoon yesterday, the players seemed tired. But they took an enough rest at hotel and worked on an official practice session in preparation for tomorrow’s match.

Head Coach and Players' Comments

Georges LEEKENS, Head Coach
Now that the Japan national team are a regular competitor in the World Cup, not only players who play in Italy, Germany and Belgium but all the players are highly skilful and quick. Last year, they played a good game in a pre-World Cup friendly against my home country Belgium. I know their new head coach Halilhodzic well, and he is a great coach. Especially, Japan have high level goalkeepers. Tunisia’s national team are also preparing to get a ticket for the World Cup in Russia. We were able to reach the last eight in the Africa Cup of Nations.

I came to Japan when I was on the Belgium national team in 1981. I’m happy to come back here. I hope the Japan national team also visit Tunisia to play a match someday.

MF #9  Yassine CHIKHAOUI
Japan’s national team are a good team as some of the players play for overseas big clubs. I’m delighted to play against such a team. We will play a good game according to the sportsmanship and hopefully please spectators. Tunisia got a good result at the Africa Cup of Nations. We are highly motivated and in good form. We will play a good match that can honour Tunisia.

FW #13  Ferjani SASSI
Japan are one of the top Asian teams and one of the big teams globally. It’s going to be a good experience for us to test our level against such opponents. I hope spectators enjoy the great match between “big teams.” All the players have high morale and we achieved a good result at the Africa Cup of Nations. With keeping the momentum, we will put up another good result.

MF #6  Houcine RAGUED
My impression on Japan is they weren’t really famous and strong 20 years ago, but now they play the World Cup in straight times and became a big team Asian teams target at. We played domestic league and championship matches and are a bit tired because of the long trip. But we will go for the match with a good preparation.


Head Coach: Georges LEEKENS (Nationality: Belgium)


1     Farouk BEN MUSTAPHA (Club Africain)
22   Moez BEN CHERIFIA (Esperance Sportive de Tunis)
16   Achraf KRIR

2     Syam BEN YOUSSEF (Astra Giurgiu/Romania)
3     Aymen ABDENNOUR (AS Monaco/France)
12   Ali MAALOUL (Club Sportif Sfaxien)
20   Mohamed Ali YAAKOUBI (Esperance Sportive de Tunis)
17   Hamza MATHLOUTHI (Club Athletic Bizertin)
21   Chamseddine DHAOUADI
5     Ousssama HADDADI

6     Houcine RAGUED (Esperance Sportive de Tunis)
14   Houssine NATER (Club Africain)
9     Yassine CHIKHAOUI (FC Zurich/Switzerland)
19   Sabeur KHALIFA (Club Africain)
10   Ben Hatira ANIS (Hertha Berlin/Germany)
15   Mohamed Ali MONCER (Club Sportif Sfaxien)
25   Mohamed GOUIDA (Hamburg SV/Germany)
7     Maher HANNACHI
24   Mohamed WAEL LARBI

13   Ferjani SASSI (Club Sportif Sfaxien)
23   Ahmed AKAICHI
8     Amir OMRANI
11   Taha Yassine KHENISSI


Fri. 27 March 2015
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) v Tunisia National Team
Oita Stadium, Kickoff 19:30/Open 16:30
TV Coverage: National live broadcasting on TBS Group

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