On Thursday 17 November, the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) played their final friendly match ahead of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ against the Canada National Team at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai. Despite taking an early lead with the goal scored by SOMA Yuki (Nagoya Grampus), Japan conceded the equaliser in the first half and the go-ahead goal during additional time of the second half to lose the match 1-2.
The match, which was played a week before the team’s first match of the tournament, provided the players with a valuable opportunity to improve their match fitness, especially since many of them were still recovering from injuries.
For this match, Japan started GONDA Shuichi (Shimizu S-Pulse) in goal, with ITAKURA Kou (Borussia MG) and TANIGUCHI Shogo (Kawasaki Frontale) as centre-halves, SAKAI Hiroki (Urawa Red Diamonds) on the right and ITO Hiroki (VfB Stuttgart) in the left to form the four-man defence line. SHIBASAKI Gaku (CD Leganes) and TANAKA Ao (Fortuna Dusseldorf) started as the defensive midfielders, while Soma, MINAMINO Takumi (AS Monaco), and KUBO Takefusa (Real Sociedad) were placed beneath ASANO Takuma (VfL Bochum), who served as the lone striker upfront. .....
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