Both sides hare World Cup bound and this international window would be their last opportunity to evaluate the team and who would be the best 26 players to bring to Qatar in November.
Japan will take on the USA in an international friendly at the Merkur Spiel-Arena in Dusseldorf on Friday. Both sides have qualified for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in November-December and this international window would be their last opportunity to evaluate the team and who would be the best 26 players to bring to Qatar. The Samurai Blue were last in action in July, when they thrashed South Korea 3-0 in the final of the EAFF East Asian Cup. USA, meanwhile, are heading into the match on the back of a 1-1 draw at El Salvador in a CONCACAF Nations League fixture more than three months ago.
━━ 🇯🇵#ワールドカップ に向けて大事な連戦へ🔹
— サッカー日本代表 🇯🇵【SAMURAI BLUE】🔜9.23 vs🇺🇸 (@jfa_samuraiblue) September 22, 2022
The Samurai Blue fared well in the Asian World Cup qualification, finishing second in a group which featured Saudi Arabia and Australia, two countries that along with Japan are World Cup bound. Hajime Moriyasu’s side, who are the top ranked team in Asia (24th), put three goals past South Korea without reply on July 27. All three goals were scored in the second half through Yuki Souma, Sho Sasaki and Shuto Machino. They have suffered only one defeat in their last six matches across all competitions. Meanwhile, Japan’s defence has been pretty solid, having not conceded a single goal in their last four outings.
USA, on the other hand, didn’t have the best of qualifying campaigns, having finished third in the Octagon, behind Mexico and Canada. The Americans have lost just two of their last 10 games across all competitions. In their last match against El Salvador on June15, Jordan Morris’ 91st-minute strike canceled out Alexander Larin’s opener to share the spoils. Meanwhile, the Stars and stripes are back in the World Cup for the first time since 2014.
Japan boss Moriyasu is emphasising the importance of maintaining consistency in squad selection. Celtic player Kyogo Furuhashi could lead the line with Morita and Tanaka pulling the strings in the midfield. Monaco-man Takumi Minamino and Junya Ito are expected to join Furuhashi in attack. As for the USA, Zack Steffen is nursing a knee injury. Christia Pulisic, Pepi and Arriola are likely to form the front-three.
Japan probable starting lineup: Kawashima, Nagatomo, Yoshida, Taniguchi, Yamane, Endo, Minamino, Morita, Tanaka, Ito, Furuhashi
USA probable starting lineup: Turner, Vines, Long, Zimmerman, Cannon, Aaronson, Adams, McKennie, Pulisic, Pepi, Arriola
The international friendly match between Japan and USA will take place at Merkur Spiel Arena on Friday at 5:55 pm IST.
|Japan vs USA||Key details|
|Date||September 23 (Germany)|
|Venue||Merkur Spiel Arena, Dusseldorf , Germany|
|Kickoff time in Japan||9:25 pm|
|Kickoff time in USA||8:25 am|
|Kickoff time in Germany||2:25 pm|
For the football fans in South Korea, live telecast of the match will be available on Fuji TV. Beides, those in the USA can catch the live action of the match between Japan and USA on ESPN2, TUDN app, Univision NOW, TUDN USA, TUDN.com and ESPN+.