Jan 23, 2017

Japan to play June home friendly before Iraq clash

Japan will warm up for its June World Cup qualifier away to Iraq with a home friendly at Tokyo’s Ajinomoto Stadium against a-yet-to-be-determined opponent, the Japan Football Association announced Monday. The friendly, an evening kickoff, will be played June 7, six days before Vahid ...

Jan 9, 2017

Halilhodzic backs 48-team World Cup

Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic gave his approval to expanding the World Cup from its current 32-team format to 40 or 48 teams as FIFA prepares to discuss the idea during its board meeting on Tuesday. “Soccer is steadily being played at a higher level ...

Confident Osako ready to take risks against Saudis

Nov 14, 2016

Confident Osako ready to take risks against Saudis

Having marked his international return in style with a brace against Oman, Cologne striker Yuya Osako is champing at the bit and said Monday he is ready to take risks if he is picked to play in Tuesday’s crucial final-round World Cup qualifier against ...

New boy Ideguchi looking to make impact for Japan

Nov 6, 2016

New boy Ideguchi looking to make impact for Japan

by

Gamba Osaka midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi is hoping to vindicate Japan coach Vahid Halilhodzic’s handing him his first crack at the national team for Friday’s friendly against Oman and a crunch World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia next week in Saitama. The Rio Olympian was ...

Seventh time lucky as Japan wins Asian Under-19 title

Oct 31, 2016

Seventh time lucky as Japan wins Asian Under-19 title

Japan was crowned Under-19 Asian champion for the first time on Sunday, beating Saudi Arabia 5-3 on penalties after 120 minutes failed to separate the sides in a 0-0 draw in the final at the Bahrain National Stadium. Koki Ogawa was Japan’s hero, scoring ...

Okazaki declares himself fit to face Australia

Oct 10, 2016

Okazaki declares himself fit to face Australia

Shinji Okazaki will play through the pain in his left ankle and has declared himself ready for Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier against Australia. Okazaki missed training a day earlier with the injury he suffered in Thursday’s home win over Iraq, leading to the possibility ...