On Friday 11 June, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) faced the Serbia National Team in the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2021 at Noevir Stadium Kobe (Hyogo), where ITO Junya (KRC Genk) scored the decisive goal in the early minutes of the second half to give Japan a 1-0 victory.
For Japan, this was their first time facing a European side since facing Belgium at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™, but the team entered the match without YOSHIDA Maya (U.C. Sampdoria) and two other players who joined the U-24 Japan National Team as over-age (OA) players for the Olympics, while also missing OSAKO Yuya (Werder Bremen) due to injury.
Entering the match without some of their key players in both offence and defence, coach MORIYASU Hajime elected to start the same defence line from their match against the U-24 Japan National Team on the 3rd, with GONDA Shuichi (Shimizu S-Pulse) starting in goal. It was FURUHASHI Kyogo (Vissel Kobe) who was named as the lone striker to replace Osako, with KAMADA Daichi (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ito and MINAMINO Takumi (Southampton FC) lined in the attacking midfield position. .....
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