Japan lost 0-2 to Ghana in the Kirin Challenge Cup at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama on Wednesday, leaving new head coach Akira Nishino with lots to think about before the national football team begin their World Cup Campaign in Russia on June 19.
A goal in each half by Ghana captain and Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey and Levente UD’s Emmanuel Boateng sealed the deal for the Black Stars against a very average-looking Samurai Blue in rainy conditions in front of a disappointed crowd of 64,520 Japanese fans, reported Xinhua news agency.
With a 26-man squad to pick from to face Ghana in Wednesday’s friendly before deciding on the final 23 who will head to Russia, the Samurai Blue, based on their form shown again the African team who didn’t qualify for the World Cup, played well in spells but were outgunned overall.
Japan’s World Cup Group Group H sees it placed alongside Senegal, Poland and Colombia.
Japan will open their World Cup account against Colombia on June 19 and will face Senegal five days later. Their campaign against Poland in the final game of the group stages will take place four days after that.
Under Halilhodzic’s stewardship, Japan reached the 2018 World Cup Finals after their 2-0 win against Australia on August 31, 2017, which sealed their progression from Asia’s Group B at the third round stage.
According to FIFA, Japan are ranked lowest in their group at 60 in the world, compared to Senegal at 28, Colombia at 16 and Poland at 10.