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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017 [10/10] TOP > NEWS > SAMURAI BLUE practise behind closed doors for Haiti match – Kirin Challenge Cup 2017 Second Match –


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SAMURAI BLUE practise behind closed doors for Haiti match – Kirin Challenge Cup 2017 Second Match –

09 October 2017

SAMURAI BLUE practise behind closed doors for Haiti match – Kirin Challenge Cup 2017 Second Match –

On Sunday 8 October, with two more days before the Kirin Challenge Cup 2017 match against Haiti, Japan National Team had training at Nissan Stadium in Kanagawa.

The squad moved on the previous day from Toyota, Aichi where the first match against New Zealand took place. When the heat of the daytime became milder in the early evening, they began the workout with running. The first 15 minutes was open to public, but the rest was not, when the tactics were reviewed.

Forward HARAGUCHI Genki (Hertha BSC Berlin), whose left hamstring strain had kept him away from the team until the day before, joined the full practice with the squad on this day.

As coach Vahid HALILHODZIC is on his plan to try many different players in these two matches, the contest against Haiti most likely will see a different line-up again.

Defender UEDA Naomichi (Kashima Antlers) is highly motivated for his probable debut with the national team, saying “If I get a chance to play, I will show everything I have kept inside me.”

Their opponents Haiti are currently ranked 48th in the FIFA Ranking, close to Japan in 40th place. They just failed to get the spot in the FIFA World Cup next year, finishing third behind Costa Rica, who advanced out of the final qualifiers, and Panama in the CONCACAF’s fourth qualifying round. If they had reached the World Cup, it would have been the second time in their history after the maiden appearance in 1974.

Japan and Haiti play against each other for the first time, while this friendly match is in fact the first international match for Haiti since the CONCACAF Gold Cup Playoff against Nicaragua in March this year.

Defender SAKAI Gotoku (Hamburger Sport-Verein) says “I hear that many players come in and out of their national team. Whoever our opponents are, if we understand our team concept and maintain good communication within the team, it will lead to a good result.” Sakai personally strives for his opportunity to be back with the team on the pitch, because he has not played for his country since the final qualifier match against Iraq in June this year and has not started since the Thailand match in March.

Midfielder KAGAWA Shinji (Borussia Dortmund), who played for 60 minutes against New Zealand, expects improvements from their last contest. “The quality of our offence has been one of our issues. We want to try as a team with the shared mindset on how effectively we can build up our offence.”

The match against Haiti is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday 10 October at Nissan Stadium in Kanagawa.

Players' Comments

GK #1 KAWASHIMA Eiji (Football Club de Metz)
In friendly matches, winning is important but how you win is also important. We have to be creative enough to come up with good ideas, and as for the defensive tactics, we have to play as a team in every match. When we face a similar situation to the one where we allowed a goal in the New Zealand match, the key is whether we all can deal with it having the same mindset, how everyone of us positions himself, and also how we deal with an opponent attacking behind us.

DF #4 UEDA Naomichi (Kashima Antlers)
Just being with the national team doesn’t have a point. Playing on the pitch has the point. I have had disappointing feeling so far, so if I get a chance to play, I will show everything I have kept inside me. It’s true that I wanted to play in the New Zealand match, but I learned a lot by being outside and looking at it. I thought a lot about “What I would do” and there were a lot of lessons that I learned. In that match, there were many good long feeds from Yoshida (Maya), so if I get to play, I want to stay confident and play like that.

DF #21 SAKAI Gotoku (Hamburger Sport-Verein)
I think we still have some inconsistency in regard to whether we can execute the football our coach expects us to do. Speaking of the recent examples, we played against Australia and Saudi Arabia, but the Australia match was a good example of the football we are trying to play. In the New Zealand match, we had some good stretches, but compared to the Australia match, we had some looseness on the ball and we should have played more compactly. Those are the things we need to correct down the road.

MF #10 KAGAWA Shinji (Borussia Dortmund)
In the New Zealand match, with all the chances we had in the first half, we should have utilised them more accurately. Next time I want to make sure to take advantage of such chances. Just like I always do, I want to get ready for the match. I am in good shape now, so I want to focus on getting good results and make it a fruitful match.

FW #14 INUI Takashi (SD Eibar)
I just need to do my best to get selected onto the final squad. First of all, I want to concentrate just on this Haiti match and do my best to get the win. There I want to show everything I can do. I couldn’t record a goal nor an assist last time, so I really want to get one of those or both. (To improve the scoring) we need to improve our shots, and I think everyone needs to focus on it, but more than anything we need to come up with more scoring opportunities. I believe this is a more effective strategy.

FW #15 OSAKO Yuya (1.FC Koeln)
We don’t know what kind of team our opponents are yet, and we are still at the stage of organising what we should do. The surroundings are totally different between an official match and a friendly, so a certain number of things we can do at a friendly can’t get done at an official match. It’s difficult. But for those moments, we need to take advantage of an opportunity like this to work on it.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

  • UEDA Naomichi (Kashima Antlers) Interview

  • KAGAWA Shinji (Borussia Dortmund) Interview

  • INUI Takashi (SD Eibar) Interview


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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