On Thursday 20 June, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) played their second group stage match of the CONMEBOL Copa America Brazil 2019 against the Uruguay National Team at Arena do Gremio, Porto Alegre. Japan showed an equally matched bout from the beginning of the match and earned a 2-2 draw against the tournament favourites.
On this day, the team entered the match with a black armband in commemoration of the passing of Mr. KITAYAMA Tomonori, who served for the JFA International Committee and took the role to bridge the gap between South America and Japan for the past 40 years. Following the match, coach MORIYASU Hajime mentioned, “Without Mr. Kitayama, we wouldn’t be participating in this wonderful tournament, and we would like to show are respect and condolences to Mr. Kitayama.”
Following the first match against Chile, Japan made six changes to their line-up, as KAWASHIMA Eiji (RC Strasbourg) started in goal with the defence line of IWATA Tomoki (Oita Trinita), UEDA Naomichi (Cercle Brugge K.S.V.), TOMIYASU Takehiro (Sint-Truidense V.V.), and SUGIOKA Daiki (Shonan Bellmare). SHIBASAKI Gaku (Getafe C.F.) and ITAKURA Kou (FC Groningen) took the role as the defensive midfielder, while MIYOSHI Koji (Yokohama F・Marinos), NAKAJIMA Shoya (Al Duhail SC), and ABE Hiroki (Kashima Antlers) served as the attacking midfielders, with OKAZAKI Shinji (Leicester City Football Club) as the lone striker......
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