Japan schedules friendly against Cyprus


Japan will play Cyprus in a May 27 friendly to prepare for the World Cup finals in Brazil, the Japan Football Association announced Wednesday.

Japan, which is ranked 48th in the world, will play its World Cup Group C games against Colombia, Greece and Cote d’Ivoire. Although Cyprus is ranked 125th, Japan manager Alberto Zaccheroni called it a useful fixture.

“They (Cyprus) are similar in some ways to Greece,” Zaccheroni said in a comment released by the JFA. “It will be an extremely important testing ground for us.”

Following the game at Saitama Stadium, Japan will train overseas before going on to Brazil and playing its first game against Cote d’Ivoire on June 14.