Japanese soccer has won again. However, the quality of the opponent was less than satisfactory, leading some to criticize.
Hajime Moriyasu’s men’s national team defeated Canada (44th in the FIFA rankings) 4-1 in an A-match friendly at Denka Big Swan Stadium in Niigata, Japan, on Wednesday.
It was the 19th-ranked Japan team’s fifth straight victory. The Japanese, who won their last two A matches in June, 6-0 against El Salvador and 4-1 against Peru, have also sunk ‘The Chariots of Fire’ Germany (4-1) and Euro 2024 qualifying group leaders Turkuye (4-2).
Japan, in particular, has been in an “anti-Asian” mode, scoring four or more goals in five straight games. In those five games, they scored 22 goals and conceded just five. The opponents have been formidable, with South America, Europe, and North America.
Japan scored three goals in the first half to take the lead. Ao Tanaka (Düsseldorf) opened the scoring in the second minute of the first half, followed by an own goal in the 40th minute, and Keito Nakamura (Reims) capitalized on a defensive mistake in the 42nd minute.
Japan completed the comeback three minutes into the second half when Tanaka scored his second goal of the game, effectively ending Canada’s hopes of a comeback. Canada scored a consolation goal just before the end of the game, but the damage was done.
However, the Japanese team’s performance against Canada was not enough for Brazilian Nikkan Sports soccer critic Sergio Echigo (78).
“I can see why they didn’t call up Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg), and Daichi Kamada (Lazio),” Sergio said, emphasizing that “it’s proof that they intentionally flew tired players all the way to Japan to test them with their best squad.”
In fact, the Japanese team did not call up their ace Mitoma for this call-up, and star players Ritsu Doan and Kamada were also expected to face another test.
In particular, Sergio criticized Canada’s performance, saying, “If Canada were to play today, they would be better off calling up South Korea, Australia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia from the same region,” adding, “They are the top teams in Asia and have pride, so they will fight more sincerely.”
Sergio added: “Japan have challenged for the World Cup quarterfinals on several occasions, but have succumbed. Now they are preparing to break that barrier. Obviously, Canada is not an opponent that can feel that reaction. Their defense was too weak and they were overwhelmed by Japan’s pressure,” he said.
“If we are in the same group at the World Cup, they will be very happy. If we want to go beyond the quarterfinals, we will have to test our skills against a country like that.”
Sergio added, “The JFA organizes a lot of domestic matches due to financial and sponsor considerations. “It is difficult to strengthen the team in such an 토토사이트 environment. Without fundamental reforms, such as playing all of our friendlies in Europe, it will be difficult to reach the top of the world at the World Cup.”
Finally, Sergio concluded, “Japan won 4-1 with 1.5 men. Fans will have sweet dreams and love it,” he said, adding, “You can taste the festive atmosphere at the World Cup. We shouldn’t be afraid to be bitter because of it. We also need to make bold investments. If we always say we don’t have the money, the World Cup quarterfinals will remain an unattainable dream.”