On Tuesday 11 September, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) faced the Costa Rica National Team in the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2018 at Panasonic Stadium Suita, Osaka. With goals scored by MINAMINO Takumi (FC Red Bull Salzburg), who has returned to the national team for the first time in three years, and ITO Junya (Kashiwa Reysol), the team won their first match under the helm of Coach MORIYASU Hajime, with a score of 3-0.
With their match against the Chile National Team being cancelled due to the Hokkaido Eastern Iburi Earthquake, the SAMURAI BLUE took their first step towards the FIFA World Cup Qatar, after reaching the round of 16 at this summer’s World Cup Russia.
Just three players who participated in the recent World Cup were selected into this squad as goalkeeper HIGASHIGUCHI Masaaki (Gamba Osaka), defender MAKINO Tomoaki (Urawa Red Diamonds), and midfielder ENDO Wataru (Sint-Truidense V.V.) made the team. Fresh new looks were featured as midfielder DOAN Ritsu (FC Groningen) and defender SASAKI Sho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) started the match, while midfielders AMANO Jun (Yokohama F・Marinos) and MORITA Hidemasa (Kawasaki Frontale) entered the match as substitutes to mark their first cap for the national team......
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