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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ / AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019™ Preliminary Joint Qualification - Round 2 TOP > NEWS > SAMURAI BLUE resume training in Saitama ahead of World Cup qualifiers


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SAMURAI BLUE resume training in Saitama ahead of World Cup qualifiers

13 June 2015

SAMURAI BLUE resume training in Saitama ahead of World Cup qualifiers

SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) had training in Saitama on 12 June in the run up to the first match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Round 2 against Singapore to be held on 16 June at Saitama Stadium 2002.

In the morning, the squad travelled from Yokohama, where they defeated Iraq 4-0 a day before, and had their early-evening session after taking a rest at hotel.

While the starting squad in the Iraq match went through light tune-up such as running and stretching in a relaxing mood, the other players worked on training for a little over 90 minutes.

The substitutes started with fundamental drills such as passing, and in 5v5 small-sided games, they repeated plays toward the opposing goal with paying attention to third player’s moves and pace. Head coach Vahid Halilhodzic called out for HARAGUCHI Genki (Hertha BSC Berlin)'s goal and MUTO Yoshinori (F.C. Tokyo)'s performance, saying "Bravo!" and "Good!"

At the end of the session, they tried to improve volley shooting in a shooting drill. Japan's boss, who used to shine as a former Yugoslavian international forward, was feeding different kinds of bounding balls from the side of a goal as well as teaching how to take a low shot by actually showing how to use an ankle when he found some players struggling to keep his shot low.

Goalkeepers except for KAWASHIMA Eiji (Royal Standard de Liege) who started in the previous night’s match trained how to cope with players who run through to a through ball.

Haraguchi, joining the SAMURAI BLUE camp under the Halilhodzic reign for the first time, says "He teaches us individual skills as well as all other aspects like the tactics and mental side of the things. He is a very good coach for me to go up to a higher level."

The team continue to tune up after 13th and go out for the match against Singapore on 16th.

Players’ Comments

HARAGUCHI Genki (Hertha BSC Berlin)
I have really good memories at Saitama Stadium. Playing at the stadium motivates me a lot. I'm glad to come back here in a national team kit. I hope I can continue to stay on the team and come back here like this as well. Once getting onto the pitch, I think I can play with a positive image because it's easier to play in a familiar setting. It was difficult to play at the central position (in the Iraq match). But as I actually scored from the centre it's closer to goal and easier to challenge when you face forward.

TANIGUCHI Shogo (Kawasaki Frontale)
It's a big thing for me to play on the pitch. The stadium was all filled with blue colour and it was like everyone around me was our fan. That's really encouraging. My performance was still not good enough and it was like I didn't do anything special. I haven't been able to show my strength, so I'm determined to work harder. We are told about fundamentals in detail during training. I also believe such kind of stuff is important and good to practise.

NISHIKAWA Shusaku (Urawa Reds)
We firmly grabbed the win in Yokohama and moved to Saitama, so the mood in the team is very good. We will keep up our work in this mood. I believe a playing chance will definitely be given to me. I'm preparing for that. I won't survive unless I show a solid, highly-valued performance when getting a chance to play. Anyway, I will try to play to contribute to the team. The World Cup battle has already started. First, we will win the first match and drive ourselves forward.

SAKAI Hiroki (Hannover 96)
Yesterday's match was a bit hard to evaluate because of the opponents' condition, but I think the winning is all it matters. It's an honour to be called up to the national team. I'm getting a chance because Uchida is injured. I need to climb up higher to catch up with him. I need to settle down and want to help the team with my play. Because now Japan national team are improving, competition is necessary.


Mon. 1 June PM Training
Tue. 2 June AM/PM Training
Wed. 3 June 17:00 Training
Thu. 4 June 17:00 Training
Fri. 5 June 17:00 Training
Sat. 6 June 17:00 Training
Sun. 7 June 17:00 Training
Mon. 8 June PM Training
Tue. 9 June PM Training
Wed. 10 June PM Official Training
Thu. 11 June 4-0 KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2015
vs. Iraq National Team (Nissan Stadium)
Fri. 12 June PM Training
Sat. 13 June PM Training
Sun. 14 June PM Training
Mon. 15 June TBD Official Training
Tue. 16 June 19:30
(subject to change)
2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup Joint Qualifiers Round 2
vs. Singapore National Team (Saitama Stadium 2002)

Note: The schedule is subject to change.

2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup Joint Qualifiers Round 2

SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) vs Singapore National Team
Tue. 16 June Kickoff 19:30 (subject to change) 
Saitama / Saitama Stadium 2002
More information

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