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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE 2015 > NEWS > SAMURAI BLUE’s preparation in Singapore begin


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SAMURAI BLUE’s preparation in Singapore begin

10 November 2015

SAMURAI BLUE’s preparation in Singapore begin

SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) started their tune-up in Singapore for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Round 2. The first contest of the two-away-match series is against Singapore on 12 November.

Pupils who study at a Japanese elementary school in Singapore and their family members welcomed the players at the practice site. Taking a group photo altogether and receiving autographed souvenir pennant before the team practice, the group of 100 kids joyfully showed each other the memorabilia they just got.

The training started in the high temperature of over 30 degrees celsius and also high humidity even under a cloudy sky. Midfielder KAGAWA Shinji (Borussia Dortmund) and defender NAGATOMO Yuto (FC Internazionale Milano) were not present yet due to their club duties, but the rest of 21 players were there when coach Vahid HALILHODZIC said in the beginning "These matches will be the last matches we play in this year. To take good momentum over to next year, we play good matches and make sure to get wins."

Then according to the degree of activity in and fatigue left from their respective matches in the previous weekend, the players got into groups and worked out.

It was centred on running and stretching to recover their bodies for midfielder YAMAGUCHI Hotaru (Cerezo Osaka) who had a match on Sunday and some of the players playing outside of Japan who played their own on Saturday and flew over to Singapore after that such as forward MUTO Yoshinori (1.FSV Mainz 05).

Other foreign club’s players who had a Friday match just as forward HARAGUCHI Genki (Hertha BSC Berlin) and played only for a limited amount of time like forward HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan) engaged in drills using balls as well. One of the examples was a passing drill designed specifically for quick one-touch passes where their coach instructed on details including how the ball should be handled and when fakes should be made.

In addition, the J.Leaguers who took on light workout in Sunday morning before leaving Japan went through a little more physically-enduring exercises and passing drills.

Discussing the fact that Japan ended up with a draw at home in the qualifiers’ opening match against Singapore in June, midfielder HASEBE Makoto (Eintracht Frankfurt) said of his thirst for the win "our coach said he still remembers that match in June, but our minds won’t be cleared, either, unless we win this match. With that win, we will get the monkey off our back."

Currently Japan and Singapore are tied in the standings with 10 points, both trailing Group E leaders Syria by two points. Having played one match less than the rest of four countries, Japan’s record is three wins, no losses and one draw, while Singapore have earned three wins, one loss and one draw.

The fixture against Singapore, which is Japan’s fifth match in this Qualifiers Round 2, is scheduled to kick off at 7:15 p.m. (8:15 p.m. Japan time) on 12 November at the National Stadium of Singapore. Then the Japan squad head for Phnom Penh for the sixth match against Cambodia on 17.

Players' Comments

MF  HASEBE Makoto (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany)
For players who just arrived from Singapore, the temperature difference is being felt and the high humidity is an even worse factor. But when playing Asian qualifiers, you can’t get away from those. So we just have to deal with them. We don’t know how Singapore will play against us, but I think we will have long stretches of initiative of the match. There we want to stay aggressive toward goal and we want to overwhelm them.

FW  HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan/Italy)
In the last match against Singapore, they were good at analysing us. Our offence lacked variety and that was a lesson we learned. This time, we take advantage of that lesson and we want to score goals. I personally don’t like making the same tactical mistake again. Our goal is getting three points. The level of these Asian countries have been getting better, so there is no easy match to play. It will be a difficult match again, but we have to win it. We do our best to achieve that.

FW  MINAMINO Takumi (Salzburg/Austria)
It’s not that something has changed only because I got to play in the last Iran match. I try to keep playing well in practice and try to make them give me a chance. I also need to let my teammates who make passes know when I start running and how I play. However it is scored, one goal is one goal. So I will be aggressive to get a goal.

DF  YOSHIDA Maya (Southampton FC/England)
The main trend of playing style in Asia is play defensively and look for counter attacks. So we will have to stay focused throughout the 90 minutes and make sure we manage our risks. We can’t win matches unless we score goals. So we have to make high percentage attacks. I also think we have to score more goals from corner-kicks and free-kicks. We need to improve the quality of those set pieces. It’s better to have a lot of options of attacks, so we want to break down their defence by showing that we have those options.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

  • Interview - HASEBE Makoto (Eintracht Frankfurt/Germany)

  • Interview - HONDA Keisuke (AC Milan/Italy)

  • Interview - MINAMINO Takumi (Salzburg/Austria)


Sun. 8 November AM Training
Mon. 9 November PM Training
Tue. 10 November PM Training
Wed. 11 November PM Official Conference
Official Training (National Stadium)
Thu. 12 November 19:15
(Local Time)
2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Round 2
AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Preliminary Joint Qualification
vs Singapore National Team (National Stadium)
More information
Fri. 13 November AM Training
Sat. 14 November PM Training
Sun. 15 November PM Training
Mon. 16 November PM Official Conference
Official Training
Tue. 17 November 19:14
(Local Time)
2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Asian Qualifiers Round 2
AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 Preliminary Joint Qualification
vs Cambodia National Team (National Olympic Stadium)
More information

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

11-12 (Thu.) - kick off at 20:15<Japan Time> (subject to change) 
Singapore/National Stadium
Singapore National Team vs SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
More information

11-17 (Tue.) kick off at 21:14<Japan Time> (subject to change) 
Cambodia/National Olympic Stadium
Cambodia National Team vs SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
More information

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