On Friday 10 November, SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) took on Brazil National Team in an international friendly match held in Lille in northern France. Despite defender MAKINO Tomoaki’s (Urawa Red Diamonds) second-half goal which was the first goal for Japan against Brazil in 11 years, the team lost 3-1 to the South American powerhouse.
The majority of the Japanese players regarded this match as a yardstick of their current status and commented that they would put everything into the game. Despite their strong determination towards the important match, the national squad stumbled early in the game.
In the 8th minute, the intensity with which Japan had started the match dropped by a crucial decision made by the VAR (Video Assistant Referee), which is still in the experimental stage of implementation. FIFA’s new officiating system judged the defensive play from a corner by defender YOSHIDA Maya (Southampton FC) on midfielder FERNANDINHO as a foul and awarded a penalty kick to the South American side. NEYMAR, then, outsmarted the Japanese goalkeeper and scored an opener less than 10 minutes into the game......
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