On Friday 8 June, ahead of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) faced the Switzerland National Team in an international friendly match at Lugano, Switzerland. The team lost 0-2, making it two consecutive loses since Coach NISHINO Akira has been appointed as the head coach.
With their group stage match against Colombia in mind, the team has focused on heightening their adaptability. In their match against Ghana on 30 May, which was the last match in Japan ahead of the World Cup, the team tried out playing three defenders at back, while this time against Switzerland, the team started out playing four defenders, which they have worked on since arriving to Austria.
In this match, KAWASHIMA Eiji (Football Club de Metz) started in goal, with four defenders starting from the right side, SAKAI Gotoku (Hamburger SV), YOSHIDA Maya (Southampton FC), MAKINO Tomoaki (Urawa Reds), and NAGATOMO Yuto (Galatasaray S.K.). HASEBE Makoto (Eintracht Frankfurt) and OHSHIMA Ryota (Kawasaki Frontale) were placed in a defensive midfield role, while the two wingers from Fortuna Dusseldorf, HARAGUCHI Genki and USAMI Takashi were placed in the flanks. OSAKO Yuya (Werder Bremen) was named as the lone striker with HONDA Keisuke (CF Pachuca) playing just beneath him......
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