Japan will host Chile at the Sapporo Dome, which is going to be their first match after taking part in the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Samurai Blue’s World Cup journey has been more successful than expected, as they managed to go past the group stage despite having Poland, Senegal, and Colombia standing as their rivals. Even in the round-of-16 encounter with Belgium, the AFC side showed some outstanding attacking movements that brought them a 2-goal lead less than 30 minutes before the final whistle. However, a lack of concentration in the final stage of the game eventually sent them back home. Hajime Moriyasu, who assisted Akira Nishino in Russia, will make his debut as a head coach following Nishino’s decision to step down.
After getting denied for the World Cup appearance in the last qualifying round, Juan Antonio Pizzi left La Roja’s bench in favor of Reinaldo Rueda, who so far failed to find the right module that would revive Chilean football. The CONMEBOL side have a record of two wins, two draws, and one loss in the previous five international friendlies, with all of those games played against European national teams.
Shinji Kagawa, Yuya Osako, and Gaku Shibasaki have all been left out of the squad, while Keisuke Honda and Makoto Hasebe retired from international football, which made Moriyasu perform some significant changes in his roster. As for the visitors, Alexis Sanchez won’t feature after Jose Mourinho forced his stay at Manchester United.
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