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06/06/2013

Japan friendly matches in autumn announced

 Japan will play Guatemala on September 6 in Osaka and Ghana on September 10 in Yokohama in Kirin Challenge Cup friendly games before heading to Europe to play Serbia on October 11 and Belarus on October 15, it was announced on Wednesday in Saitama.
 The Kirin Challenge Cup games are expected to kick off at night, while the starting times for the October games in Europe will be announced later.
 After the FIFA Confederations Cup in Brazil later this month, Alberto Zaccheroni’s side will take part in the EAFF East Asian Cup in Korea Republic where they will meet China on July 21, Australia on July 25 and hosts Korea Republic on July 28.
 The Samurai Blue Japan will then play Uruguay in Miyagi on August 14 in a Kirin Challenge Cup friendly.
 One more friendly match is expected to be arranged around November 15-19.
 “When I look at this schedule [for the latter half of the year], it reminds me of a calendar for a club, not a national team,” Zaccheroni said. “I am pretty satisfied with these arrangements.
 “As we wanted to play teams from various areas with different characteristics, facing teams from Europe and Central America makes for a very attractive calendar.
 “At the East Asian Cup, it looks like it will be hard for our Europe-based players to take part, but it will allow me to see what other players can do.
 “We will play a world-class team ― Uruguay ― in August in Miyagi and go on to meet very strong teams in the coming months. Ghana, for example, are a leading team in Africa, while Serbia are a very good side technically and tactically.
 “On top of that, we can play them away from home before the Serbian supporters. When you play away, you cannot expect to take control of the game as you might at home, and we want to have more experiences like this.”

Japan fixtures from July:
July 21 vs. China Seoul   EAFF East Asian Cup
July 25 vs. Australia Hwaseong  EAFF East Asian Cup
July 28 vs. Korea Republic Jamsil  EAFF East Asian Cup
Aug. 14 vs. Uruguay  Miyagi   Kirin Challenge Cup friendly
Sept. 6 vs. Guatemala Osaka Nagai  Kirin Challenge Cup friendly
Sept. 10 vs. Ghana Yokohama International Kirin Challenge Cup friendly
Oct. 11 vs. Serbia TBA (away)  friendly
Oct. 15 vs. Belarus TBA (away)  friendly
Nov. 15-19 vs. TBA TBA   friendly