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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > International Friendly Match 10/13 TOP > NEWS > Full squad of SAMURAI BLUE go through tactics behind closed doors


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Full squad of SAMURAI BLUE go through tactics behind closed doors

07 October 2015

Full squad of SAMURAI BLUE go through tactics behind closed doors

Midfielder HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan) and forward MINAMINO Takumi (Salzburg), who had been late in joining the team, appeared at the camp site for SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) and the full 23-man squad worked out on the second day of their camp in Mascut, Oman for the fourth match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Round 2.

As the practice on this day started at the same time as the scheduled kick-off time of the Syria clash with temperature reaching 35 degrees, the squad loosened their body with running and fitness training. Then the doors got closed before they spent time making sure their set-pieces and other tactics.

20-year-old forward Minamino, invited to the team by coach Vahid HALILHODZIC for the first time, said “This is where I have wanted to be since I was a kid. I am happy to have a chance to play with these elite players. I need to call for passes and also have them know the timing I get going at. I want to show what I can do even in practice.”

Speaking of the climate difference from Europe, where he is currently playing, he showed a slight concern. “In Salzburg, it’s already cold. Today I had a good workout. I think I will get used to it.”

Now that Japan are trailing group E leaders Syria by two points in the Asian Qualifiers Round 2, winning the upcoming match is quite necessary to advance to the next round atop.

Midfielder HASEBE Makoto says with a sense of urgency “We all know how important this match is. Our practices are very tense in a good way. The key is how we play in this heat. Sometimes we have to take playing efficiently into consideration. We can’t start the match too relaxed and too careless.”

Another midfielder Honda added his caution to his teammates. “We have played against Syria several times. They are very strong physically. Once we start giving away chances to them on the ball, for example because of this heat, we will put ourselves in a big hole, and we can’t create our own chances as well. We all have to be alert when we start the match.”

The match is scheduled to kick off at 5 p.m. (10 p.m. Japan Time) on 8 October at Seeb Stadium in Oman.

Players' Comments

FW   MINAMINO Takumi (Salzburg)
First, it is important to show what I can do in practice to get the playing time in the match. And when I get a chance to play, I will make sure to show my good offensive plays. I think I have improved a lot since I started playing overseas in terms of transition between plays, intensity on the ball and my aggressiveness toward the goal.

With all those things considered, I think I got this opportunity to be here. Last season I realised that as soon as I find a moment for a shot, I have to shoot it without worrying about other things. This season, I am still doing that. I also think how smoothly I can take the ball to a shot is something I improved recently.

MF   HASEBE Makoto (Eintracht Frankfurt)
It’s our first time to play against Syria since the AFC Asian Cup in 2011. We still have to check out how they have changed since then, but they are very effective in terms of scoring a goal, and also they have conceded no goals so far. They are very aggressive on the ball, too, so we know it won’t be an easy match.

The toughness on the ball is something we are expected to show, and to our teammates who have never played against Syria, players like us need to communicate that. We all know how important this match is. We will keep the good momentum, get well-prepared and grab the three points.

DF   SAKAI Gotoku (Hamburger SV)
My impression of Syria from my experience of playing against them when I was 19 years old was that they were big, physically strong, sturdy and ready to fight battles. In this qualifiers I watched them play against Cambodia and Afghanistan. They seemed a little aggressive and strong in checking opponents, and also have good players up front and skilled and creative players overall.

When you play in Asia, you always have to pay attention to the opponents’ counter-attacks no matter who you play against. So full-back positions are important. In order to win matches efficiently on the road, we need to hold them scoreless. We minimize our risks and we will be ready to have enough bodies to check their counter-attacks.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

  • Interview - HASEBE Makoto (Eintracht Frankfurt)

  • Interview - MINAMINO Takumi (Salzburg)

  • Interview - HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan)


Mon. 5 October PM Training
Tue. 6 October PM Training
Wed. 7 October 16:30
Official Conference (Seeb Stadium)
Official Training (Seeb Stadium)
Thu. 8 October 17:00 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Round 2
AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Preliminary Joint Qualification
vs  Syria National Team (Seeb Stadium)
More information
Fri. 9 October PM Training
Sat. 10 October PM Training
Sun. 11 October PM Training
Mon. 12 October 16:30
Official Conference (Azadi stadium)
Official Training (Azadi stadium)
Tue. 13 October 17:00 International Friendly Match
vs  Iran National Team (Azadi stadium)
More information

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Round 2 AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Preliminary Joint Qualification

10-8 (Thu.) - kick off at 22:00 <Japan Time> (subject to change) 
Oman/Seeb Stadium
Syria National Team  vs  SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
More information

International Friendly Match

10-13 (Tue.) - kick off at 22:30<Japan Time> (subject to change) 
Iran/Azadi stadium
Iran National Team  vs  SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
More information
Announcement from Iran Embassy of Japan – To people who come for the match against Iran – (Japanese version only)

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