The Japan national soccer team played a warm-up match against Tunisia in Kobe on the night of the 17th, winning 2-0 thanks to a goal from Kogo Furuhashi. Japan has won six consecutive games since the warm-up match in June this year.
Table of Contents
The opponent is Tunisia, ranked 29th in the world
Japan, ranked 19th in the world, won a warm-up match against Canada, ranked 44th in the world, 4-1 on the 13th of this month, and will play in Kobe on the night of the 17th in preparation for the 2026 World Cup Asian second qualifying round, which begins next month. As their final warm-up match, they played against Tunisia, ranked 29th in the world.
Tunisia is an opponent we lost 3-0 in a warm-up match last June.
Japan made seven changes to their starting lineup from the game against Canada, including Takefusa Kubo, Reo Hatate, and Kogo Furuhashi in the front line.
The progress of the match
Japan kept possession of the ball from the first half and repeatedly approached the goal, and in the 43rd minute, Furuhashi calmly scored the ball that hit an opponent player and rolled in front of the goal, giving them the lead, giving them a one-point lead.
Japan continued to take the initiative in the second half, and in the 24th minute, Junya Ito received a pass from Kubo on the left side and calmly scored a goal.
On defense, they hardly allowed Tunisia to play in front of the goal, limiting them to just one shot, and they won 2-0 with no goals allowed for the first time in five games.
This is Japan’s sixth consecutive win since the warm-up match in June, and has gained momentum for the World Cup’s second Asian qualifying round, which begins next month.
Japan will be placed in the same group as Syria, North Korea, and Myanmar in the second Asian qualifying round, and will face Myanmar in their first match on the 16th of next month.
Japan national soccer Player/coach post-match interview
Kogo Furuhashi: “I’m happy that I was able to score at this stadium.”
Kogo Furuhashi, who scored the opening goal, said, “I’m really happy that the team won, that I was able to score a goal that contributed to the victory, and that I was able to score at this stadium.”He was a member of the J.League. We were delighted to see them perform at Noevir Stadium Kobe, the home base of Vissel Kobe.
Looking ahead to the second Asian qualifying round, which will be held next month, he renewed his resolve, saying, “I still have to grow as an individual and as a team.I want to go back to the club and do my best again.”
Japan national soccer Junya Ito: “I wanted to somehow be involved in the goal.”
Junya Ito, who scored an additional goal in the second half, reflected on the goal scene, saying, “When Kubo broke through, he was watching me closely. I did.
Regarding his play in a match where Japan was on the offensive from start to finish, he said, “In the first half, the opponent was defending with a lot of people on their side, and we didn’t receive the ball very often, but we managed to get involved in the goal. I thought I was going to die,” he said.
Takefusa Kubo: “A very good trend is coming”
Takefusa Kubo, who was the starting point of the attack, expressed his gratitude, saying, “It was great for the team as a whole to keep a clean sheet before the World Cup qualifying round.”
“I think the audience came to the venue expecting us to score, and so far the whole team has been able to live up to those expectations, and things are going very well. “I’m becoming the kind of representative from Japan that everyone has high expectations for,” he said, seeming to have deepened his confidence.
Looking ahead to the second Asian qualifying round, which will be held next month, he expressed his enthusiasm, saying, “Through the qualifying rounds, we want to perform well on the pitch so that more people will fall in love with soccer.”
Coach Moriyasu: “He took on the challenge aggressively.”
Coach Hajime Moriyasu praised the team’s offense in the post-match press conference, saying, “They moved the ball in a well-balanced manner and aggressively challenged the team, which led to goals.”
Looking ahead to the World Cup’s second Asian qualifying round, he said, “I want to keep my focus so that my wins so far don’t give rise to arrogance or overconfidence.”
Captain Wataru Endo: “It’s okay to simply evaluate.”
Captain Wataru Endo said, “It would have been ideal if we could have scored more points, but I think it’s fair to evaluate it simply. We need to keep playing like we did in today’s game, switching between offense and defense, looking for gaps, and moving forward. I want to,” he recalled.
Regarding the World Cup’s second Asian qualifying round, which begins next month, he emphasized his commitment to winning, saying, “We have to make winning a normal thing. We want to be able to accumulate wins no matter who the players are.”
Takehiro Tomiyasu: “The team’s defense as a whole was good”
Defender Takehiro Tomiyasu said of the team’s ability to keep a clean sheet for the first time in five official games, saying, “In the final scene, my marking was lax and there were times when I could have scored, but the team’s defense as a whole was good. I think so,” he recalled.
With that in mind, he was enthusiastic about the World Cup’s second Asian qualifying round, which begins next month, saying, “We want to be able to think for ourselves and do things like manage games, and make this a match that will lead us to the next step.”