On Friday 17 December, Japan Football Association announced the schedule of activities for each category of the Japan National Team for the year 2022. The SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) will be back in action in mid-January as they prepare for the AFC Asian Qualifiers (Road to Qatar) for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ which starts in November, while the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) will also compete in the AFC Women's Asian Cup India 2022™ in late January to qualify for the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.
The SAMURAI BLUE's first match of the World Cup year will be against Uzbekistan in the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP at Saitama Stadium 2002 on Friday 21 January, which will be an important match to improve the team's condition ahead of the AFC Asian Qualifiers (Road to Qatar) against China PR on Thursday 27 January and Saudi Arabia on Tuesday 1 February.
Since the final round of the Asian qualifiers started in September, Japan has managed to improve its record to four wins and two losses, and is currently ranked second in Group B. With four matches remaining, including an away match against Australia on Thursday 24 March and a match against Vietnam at Saitama Stadium 2002 on Tuesday 29 March, the team will be aiming to secure a top-two finish to qualify for the World Cup without going through the playoffs. .....
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