Soccer

Japan U-23 team to face South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire in Olympic warmups

Kyodo

The Japan Under-23 squad will warm up for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics with friendlies against South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire in March, the Japan Football Association announced Thursday.

Hajime Moriyasu’s squad will face on South Africa at Kyoto’s Sanga Stadium on March 27 before meeting Cote d’Ivoire at Level 5 Stadium in Fukuoka three days later.

Both of the African sides have qualified for the Summer Olympics, where the men’s soccer tournament is to be contested by U-23 sides containing a limited number of overage players.

They will be joined by Egypt, which also secured Olympic qualification at the 2019 Africa U-23 Cup of Nations.

Japan received an automatic berth as the Olympic host, while three other Asian countries will earn their places at the 16-team tournament via the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship in Thailand next month.