SAMURAI BLUE tune up for Korea Rep. clash – EAFF East Asian Cup
04 August 2015
SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) had tune-up training on 3 August in Wuhan, China ahead of the contest against Korea Republic scheduled two days later in the EAFF East Asian Cup.
Under the relentless heat of the sun continuing from the morning, the starting lineup in the last night's match against Korea DPR had light workouts such as running and stretching at a training field next to the match site Wuhan Sports Centre Stadium. The other players, divided into two groups of goalkeepers and field players, worked up a sweat in a 90-minute session.
The goalkeepers worked on saving drills from a close distance, setting situations where the opponents pass in the box. The drills were also simulated as specific moments in a match, for example as situation past 90 minutes, so that they could keep their concentration during the training, Field players had training in one-on-one situations in a small area and played a 5-on-5 intrasquad game.
The scrimmage saw Japan coach Vahid HALILHODZIC giving detailed instructions, "Every time you pass the ball, also think about how to get to a shot," and "Look at the goalkeeper's position carefully." Defender MIZUMOTO Hiroki (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), midfielder SHIBASAKI Gaku (Kashima Antlers) and forward KOHROGI Shinzoh (Urawa Reds) aggressively tried to take shots and put the ball into the net.
With his objective to recruit new talents, Halilhodzic disclosed his plan that he would reshuffle the starting lineup used in their opener for the next match against Korea Republic on 5th. Although the team practice is limited only after 31 July when the team arrived in China, defender YONEKURA Koki (Gamba Osaka) says "I'm always aware of what our coach says at meetings. I'll be ready to play anytime."
Japan have a record of 13 wins, 38 losses and 22 ties against Korea Republic. In the last tournament two years ago, Japan beat the same opponents 2-1 with the then newly called-up forward KAKITANI Yoichiro's (FC Basel) brace.
Korea Republic, placed 52nd (Japan placed 50th) in the FIFA rankings, brought about five players who experienced the AFC Asian Cup in this January, where they finished runners-up, and the FIFA World Cup last year. Korea Republic defeated China PR 2-0 in their opener on 2nd and stand in top place among the four participating teams. Japan are at third place.
Forward USAMI Takashi (Gamba Osaka) showed his enthusiasm, saying "We can't lose to them, and we can't lose the match considering the whole situation as well. How much we can bring out our potential after the two-day interval is being tested."
The contest against Korea Republic will kick off at 6:20 p.m. (7:20 p.m. Japan time) on 5 August.
FW #11 USAMI Takashi (Gamba Osaka)
As it was in hot temperature and we had fatigue, we could've had more stretches playing with our pace in the match against Korea DPR. But we shouldn't give away our arm to move up quickly. So controlling such tactics is quite important. I wasn't able to score in the Singapore match (in June) and scored only one goal in the Korea DPR match.
All I need to do is improve the ability to score. To do that, we need to have more ideas and skills and create a lot of such situations. If we get two or three goals, we can make the opponents give up the game. So attacking is the best defence. I will stick to such points as an attacker.
DF #22 YONEKURA Koki (Gamba Osaka)
The national team have a unique atmosphere, and our coach looks at details very well. We really can't lose concentration even for a second. We have had quality training. I haven't had enough training to understand tactics, but I'm always aware of what our coach says in meetings.
Talking about the Korea Republic match, you need to win battles on the ball especially in matches against Asian teams. I will first try to challenge on them. You need to win one-on-one fights at any cost. You would get outplayed if you get behind in terms of your heart. We will definitely win on that point.
FW #20 KAWAMATA Kengo (Nagoya Grampus)
We had some good stretches at times in the Korea DPR match, but we didn't have so many situations where we started attacking with me keeping the ball to help my teammates play more comfortably. I felt I needed to appear at a right timing and create time for the team to push up when we were tired. By doing that, Nagai and others could've run through space behind the defensive line more easily.
We shouldn’t have lost the match, but all we need is win next one. We need to show more hard-working plays.
JFA-TV (Japanese version only)
Interview - MUTO Yuki (Urawa Reds)
Interview - NIWA Daiki (Gamba Osaka)
|Fri. 31 July
|Official Practice (Wuhan Sports Center Training Ground1)
|Sat. 1 August
|Sun. 2 August
|vs. Korea DPR
(Wuhan Sports Center Stadium)
|Mon. 3 August
|Tue. 4 August
|Wed. 5 August
|vs. Korea Republic
(Wuhan Sports Center Stadium)
|Thu. 6 August
|Fri. 7 August
|Sat. 8 August
|Sun. 9 August
(Wuhan Sports Center Stadium)
EAFF East Asian Cup 2015
Sun. 2 August - Sun. 9 August
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