On Friday 22 March, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) faced the Colombia National Team at Nissan Stadium, Kanagawa in the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2019. After conceding a goal from a penalty kick conceded in the second half, Japan lost to Colombia 0-1, marking the first loss since Coach MORIYASU Hajime took over the team last September. It was also the first time the Japanese side was kept scoreless in 13 matches.
With the match being their first match since they finished as the runners-up at the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019, Coach Moriyasu has started a new looking line-up to pursue his theme of “heightening the overall team level.”
The starting line-up featured the attacking trio of NAKAJIMA Shoya (Al Duhail SC), MINAMINO Takumi (FC Red Bull Salzburg), and DOAN Ritsu (FC Groningen), who has been the centre of their attack since the team started in September, while the veterans who fought last year’s World Cup in Russia, SHOJI Gen (Toulouse Football Club) and YAMAGUCHI Hotaru (Vissel Kobe) led the defensive end. Forward SUZUKI Musashi (Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo) made his national team debut as the lone striker upfront......
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