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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017 [10/10] TOP > NEWS > SAMURAI BLUE resume training day after victory for Haiti match – Kirin Challenge Cup 2017 Second Match –


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SAMURAI BLUE resume training day after victory for Haiti match – Kirin Challenge Cup 2017 Second Match –

08 October 2017

SAMURAI BLUE resume training day after victory for Haiti match – Kirin Challenge Cup 2017 Second Match –

On Saturday 7 October, one day after the win against New Zealand in the KIRIN Challenge Cup 2017, SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) had a practice session at Toyota Stadium in Aichi for the upcoming contest against Haiti on 10 at Nissan Stadium in Kanagawa.

The training was open to public, attracting many fans including small children in the stands. The team was divided into two groups; the starters of the night before and the rest of the squad.

The starters group wrapped up the workout earlier after going through recovery regimen with running, while the others reviewed formations and the offensive build-ups after running and warming up. Japan’s boss Vahid HALILHODZIC, together with coach Jacky BONNEVAY, occasionally stopped the drills to point out the necessary improvements and correct movements.

Then they worked on 5v5 scrimmages in a limited area of the pitch. As their coaching staff continued watching closely, the likes of midfielders KOBAYASHI Yuki (SC Heerenveen/Netherlands) and KURATA Shu (Gamba Osaka), whose career first goal for the national team brought the 2-1 win in the previous evening, showed crisp plays. Also, goalkeeper NAKAMURA Kosuke (Kashiwa Reysol) actively communicated with his teammates and made effective reactions to the opponents’ shots.

Although forward HARAGUCHI Genki (Hertha BSC Berlin/Germany) still works out separately due to his left hamstring strain, the intensity of his exercise on this day increase today with a little more demanding dashes.

After the workout, the players who finished earlier including forward OSAKO Yuya (1.FC Koeln/Germany) and midfielder KAGAWA Shinji (Borussia Dortmund/Germany) approached fans in the stands to sign their autographs and interact with the supporters even in a short period of time.

The team took advantage of the all six substitutions allowed in the New Zealand match, which was the first training match after qualifying for the World Cup, and checked the players who had rarely played as well as new combinations.

For Kobayashi, who replaced Kagawa in the 60th minute, it was his third national-team match to play, the last being the Kirin Challenge Cup 2016 against Oman. He commented on the opportunity, saying “I should have been able to do more. I could have touched the ball more.”

Forward MUTO Yoshinori made the first appearance for the team since September last year in the World Cup qualifiers against Thailand and made the first start in almost two years. “I want to get involved with goals. I have been able to create chances by attacking the space behind defenders. I just want to keep the play alive there and score a goal myself,” said the forward.

On the other hand, defender SHOJI Gen (Kashima Antlers) did not get a chance to play in the New Zealand match. He says “I was watching as I was simulating what I would do if it were there. I don’t know with whom I will be paired, but I want to make sure that I will be prepared.”

The squad moved to Yokohama, where the next match will be held, after the practice. The next workout is scheduled there on Sunday 8.

Players' Comments

DF #3 SHOJI Gen (Kashima Antlers)
Next opponents are a team of a totally different type from yesterday’s match. I hear they are rather physical. It’s not the first time for me to play against such players. We will prepare well. I don’t know with whom I will be paired, and I don’t even know if I will get to play. But if we don’t get lose in individual matchups, then our team will never get beaten.

MF #6 ENDO Wataru (Urawa Red Diamonds)
I don’t play in the midfield with my club. So, I need to sharpen the necessary senses and skills for myself, such as how to put pressure from the back and how to keep a broader vision. I want to make sure where to receive balls as well as the combination with the players in front of me. I don’t know who will get to play, but what matters is how new players and the players who don’t get to play often like me showcase what we can do. If I get a chance, I won’t hesitate to play with everything I have and cease the opportunity.

MF #16 YAMAGUCHI Hotaru (Cerezo Osaka)
Yesterday I was paired with IDEGUCHI Yusuke and kept trying to maintain the good balance between us, like making sure either one of us always stays still. Both of us can go up to get the ball, and our covering and positioning will be even better. In the first half yesterday, if we had used our flanks more, our offence could have been better. For the World Cup, all we have to do is to make sure we play with our very best every time we play. In any situation within a match, it’s a player against a player. So, I want to improve myself not to get beat in such individual battles.

MF #17 KOBAYASHI Yuki(SC Heerenveen)
Considering the amount of time I had and the opponents we were playing against, I should have been able to do more. I could have touched the ball more, and it’s my issue for the next match. I should also have expected more from others. Keeping the ball or making quick turns can earn free-kicks, so I think we should have more variety of such patterns.

FW #9 MUTO Yoshinori (1.FSV Mainz 05/Germany)
A match result like this is very important for us going towards the World Cup. I don’t know what kind of chance I get in the Haiti match, but hopefully I can score goals there. Yesterday, I was too close to the right flank every so often. If I had used the left flank more, it would have increased my chances. So, I want to communicate more with my teammates on which side is more open at each given situation.

FW #11 KUBO Yuya (KAA Gent)
The more chances you have, the higher percentage it gives for you to score. Yesterday, since the opponents had five defenders lining up, I wanted to receive the ball more at outside. It would have been better if I could have gone in at a better timing. Finishing, especially how to break it through when the opponents stay back, needs improvement. When I get the next chance to play, I want to create more chances to take shots.


Sun. 1 October PM Training
Mon. 2 October PM Training
Tue. 3 October PM Training
Wed. 4 October PM Training
Thu. 5 October 17:00
Official Conference (Toyota Stadium)
Official Training (Toyota Stadium)
Fri. 6 October 2-1 KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017
vs New Zealand (Toyota Stadium)
Sat. 7 October AM Training
Sun. 8 October PM Training
Mon. 9 October 17:00
Official Conference (Nissan Stadium)
Official Training (Nissan Stadium)
Tue. 10 October 19:30 KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017
vs Haiti (Nissan Stadium)

* The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.

Tue. 10 October 2017 19:30 kick off (estimated time)
SAMURAI BLUE vs Haiti National Team
Kanagawa/Nissan Stadium
TV Broadcasting. Live broadcasting across Japan by TBS Group

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