Japan will play Panama in an international friendly on Nov. 13 in Graz, Austria, the Japan Football Association said Thursday.
The Samurai Blue are also scheduled to take on Mexico on Nov. 17 in the same city as they face two qualifiers from the North, Central American and Caribbean region for the 2018 World Cup in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics.
Both matches will be played behind closed doors to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
“I want us to show persistence and tenacity out on the pitch and leave with a win,” Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu said ahead of the match against Panama, which made its World Cup debut two years ago in Russia.
After a round-of-16 exit from the 2018 World Cup, Japan hosted Panama in a friendly in October of that year. It was Japan’s second game under Moriyasu and the team won with the help of goals from Takumi Minamino and Junya Ito, who are currently at Liverpool and Genk, respectively.
Moriyasu’s men drew with Cameroon and beat the Ivory Coast in a pair of friendlies played in the Netherlands earlier this month, when their squad was comprised solely of Europe-based players in consideration of isolation rules required for players returning to Japan.
In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.