Oly Whites vs Japan | Saturday 31st July | 9.00pm | Kashima, Japan

Marquee
2.6K
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9K
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over 6 years
Back to steamy Kashima unfortunately. This game really has Korea Part II written all over it, with hopefully same result.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300369534/improving-olywhites-face-toughest-test-yet-in-tokyo-olympics-quarterfinal-against-japan
Hay made four personnel changes as well as a change of system for Wednesday’s match under a closed roof at the Sapporo Dome and said afterwards: “We wanted to freshen things up”.

“We wanted to bring some players in that hadn't been exposed to the tough conditions that we faced down in Kashima [where they played their first two matches, in temperatures around 30 deg c].

“The idea was to have some legs and in the Dome it's a lot cooler, set at 19 degrees, so it allowed us to actually step on and press a lot higher.

“A lot of that was down for the conditions, and we just showed our ability to maintain possession a little bit better than we have over the last couple of games.”

The OlyWhites had 59 per cent of the ball against Romania, up from 44 per cent against Honduras, and 37 per cent against South Korea, and looked dangerous in the first half, before things got tighter in the second, where goalkeeper Michael Woud made a pair of saves to deny Romania, who might have only needed a goal to win and advance themselves.



Trialist
45
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140
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8 months
coochiee
Back to steamy Kashima unfortunately. This game really has Korea Part II written all over it, with hopefully same result.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300369534/improving-olywhites-face-toughest-test-yet-in-tokyo-olympics-quarterfinal-against-japan
Hay made four personnel changes as well as a change of system for Wednesday’s match under a closed roof at the Sapporo Dome and said afterwards: “We wanted to freshen things up”.

“We wanted to bring some players in that hadn't been exposed to the tough conditions that we faced down in Kashima [where they played their first two matches, in temperatures around 30 deg c].

“The idea was to have some legs and in the Dome it's a lot cooler, set at 19 degrees, so it allowed us to actually step on and press a lot higher.

“A lot of that was down for the conditions, and we just showed our ability to maintain possession a little bit better than we have over the last couple of games.”

The OlyWhites had 59 per cent of the ball against Romania, up from 44 per cent against Honduras, and 37 per cent against South Korea, and looked dangerous in the first half, before things got tighter in the second, where goalkeeper Michael Woud made a pair of saves to deny Romania, who might have only needed a goal to win and advance themselves.



Some will hate going back to that style but you know what I won't mind that. Got to keep it tight and stop them from playing their football, especially because in knockout stages it's okay to draw and end up in extra time/penalties. Have a good moment on the counterattack or two and we have a chance - but can't afford to make many errors at either end. 
Starting XI
1.1K
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3.7K
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over 14 years
lthomas20
coochiee
Back to steamy Kashima unfortunately. This game really has Korea Part II written all over it, with hopefully same result.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300369534/improving-olywhites-face-toughest-test-yet-in-tokyo-olympics-quarterfinal-against-japan
Hay made four personnel changes as well as a change of system for Wednesday’s match under a closed roof at the Sapporo Dome and said afterwards: “We wanted to freshen things up”.

“We wanted to bring some players in that hadn't been exposed to the tough conditions that we faced down in Kashima [where they played their first two matches, in temperatures around 30 deg c].

“The idea was to have some legs and in the Dome it's a lot cooler, set at 19 degrees, so it allowed us to actually step on and press a lot higher.

“A lot of that was down for the conditions, and we just showed our ability to maintain possession a little bit better than we have over the last couple of games.”

The OlyWhites had 59 per cent of the ball against Romania, up from 44 per cent against Honduras, and 37 per cent against South Korea, and looked dangerous in the first half, before things got tighter in the second, where goalkeeper Michael Woud made a pair of saves to deny Romania, who might have only needed a goal to win and advance themselves.



Some will hate going back to that style but you know what I won't mind that. Got to keep it tight and stop them from playing their football, especially because in knockout stages it's okay to draw and end up in extra time/penalties. Have a good moment on the counterattack or two and we have a chance - but can't afford to make many errors at either end. 

If we take that approach, we will get murdered
Trialist
45
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140
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8 months
reg22
lthomas20
coochiee
Back to steamy Kashima unfortunately. This game really has Korea Part II written all over it, with hopefully same result.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300369534/improving-olywhites-face-toughest-test-yet-in-tokyo-olympics-quarterfinal-against-japan
Hay made four personnel changes as well as a change of system for Wednesday’s match under a closed roof at the Sapporo Dome and said afterwards: “We wanted to freshen things up”.

“We wanted to bring some players in that hadn't been exposed to the tough conditions that we faced down in Kashima [where they played their first two matches, in temperatures around 30 deg c].

“The idea was to have some legs and in the Dome it's a lot cooler, set at 19 degrees, so it allowed us to actually step on and press a lot higher.

“A lot of that was down for the conditions, and we just showed our ability to maintain possession a little bit better than we have over the last couple of games.”

The OlyWhites had 59 per cent of the ball against Romania, up from 44 per cent against Honduras, and 37 per cent against South Korea, and looked dangerous in the first half, before things got tighter in the second, where goalkeeper Michael Woud made a pair of saves to deny Romania, who might have only needed a goal to win and advance themselves.



Some will hate going back to that style but you know what I won't mind that. Got to keep it tight and stop them from playing their football, especially because in knockout stages it's okay to draw and end up in extra time/penalties. Have a good moment on the counterattack or two and we have a chance - but can't afford to make many errors at either end. 

If we take that approach, we will get murdered
How come we weren't murdered by Korea then? Who are an equally good team?

Take a look at Japans matches so far. South Africa came bottom of Group A - yet they sat back quite a bit against Japan, and only lost 1-0. France tried to go at them like mad and what was the score there? 4-0. Big difference. 

If anyone thinks we are gonna go out there and outplay Japan to win, they're delusional. We need to be cynical and if we do that well, we're in with a chance. 

Romania had the worst attack in Group B by far, and that's why they threatened us that little. Japan are much better than that - if we look like dominate or even up possession/territory against them, they'll kill us on the counter. 

Like it or not, being cynical and defensive (in a smart way!) is our best chance of winning. 
Life and death
1.7K
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5K
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over 14 years
We are in a similar situation to before the Korea game then. The Hay approach worked there, so credit should be given for that. I’m all for attractive football and that’s ok if you’re winning with it and sometimes losing with it. I’d prefer winning football and whatever style Hay uses to achieve that. 
reg22
lthomas20
coochiee
Back to steamy Kashima unfortunately. This game really has Korea Part II written all over it, with hopefully same result.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300369534/improving-olywhites-face-toughest-test-yet-in-tokyo-olympics-quarterfinal-against-japan
Hay made four personnel changes as well as a change of system for Wednesday’s match under a closed roof at the Sapporo Dome and said afterwards: “We wanted to freshen things up”.

“We wanted to bring some players in that hadn't been exposed to the tough conditions that we faced down in Kashima [where they played their first two matches, in temperatures around 30 deg c].

“The idea was to have some legs and in the Dome it's a lot cooler, set at 19 degrees, so it allowed us to actually step on and press a lot higher.

“A lot of that was down for the conditions, and we just showed our ability to maintain possession a little bit better than we have over the last couple of games.”

The OlyWhites had 59 per cent of the ball against Romania, up from 44 per cent against Honduras, and 37 per cent against South Korea, and looked dangerous in the first half, before things got tighter in the second, where goalkeeper Michael Woud made a pair of saves to deny Romania, who might have only needed a goal to win and advance themselves.



Some will hate going back to that style but you know what I won't mind that. Got to keep it tight and stop them from playing their football, especially because in knockout stages it's okay to draw and end up in extra time/penalties. Have a good moment on the counterattack or two and we have a chance - but can't afford to make many errors at either end. 

If we take that approach, we will get murdered
Marquee
2.6K
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9K
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over 6 years
Anyone seen Japan play? Who are their players to watch? Do they have any over age guys?

That 4-0 scoreline against the French is certainly very imposing. You would think our squad more closer in strength to the Saffas. Japanese didn't score their goal until well in the 2nd half of that one I note.

This is probably Japan's best chance of winning a major men's World tournament. I'm guessing they will have a well drilled team, of very good technical players, drawn mostly from the J League. Playing on all the stereotypes. Well used to playing in hot steamy conditions, J League being a summer comp.

Likely been together in training camps etc for months if not years building towards the OIympics. Think of what a cash strapped NZF did with having Wanderers FC leading up to a home U20 mens WC. Japanese FA will have thrown plenty resources at Tokyo 2020.

They are going to be tough, very very tough. 
Marquee
2.6K
·
9K
·
over 6 years
lthomas20
reg22
lthomas20
coochiee
Back to steamy Kashima unfortunately. This game really has Korea Part II written all over it, with hopefully same result.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300369534/improving-olywhites-face-toughest-test-yet-in-tokyo-olympics-quarterfinal-against-japan
Hay made four personnel changes as well as a change of system for Wednesday’s match under a closed roof at the Sapporo Dome and said afterwards: “We wanted to freshen things up”.

“We wanted to bring some players in that hadn't been exposed to the tough conditions that we faced down in Kashima [where they played their first two matches, in temperatures around 30 deg c].

“The idea was to have some legs and in the Dome it's a lot cooler, set at 19 degrees, so it allowed us to actually step on and press a lot higher.

“A lot of that was down for the conditions, and we just showed our ability to maintain possession a little bit better than we have over the last couple of games.”

The OlyWhites had 59 per cent of the ball against Romania, up from 44 per cent against Honduras, and 37 per cent against South Korea, and looked dangerous in the first half, before things got tighter in the second, where goalkeeper Michael Woud made a pair of saves to deny Romania, who might have only needed a goal to win and advance themselves.



Some will hate going back to that style but you know what I won't mind that. Got to keep it tight and stop them from playing their football, especially because in knockout stages it's okay to draw and end up in extra time/penalties. Have a good moment on the counterattack or two and we have a chance - but can't afford to make many errors at either end. 

If we take that approach, we will get murdered
How come we weren't murdered by Korea then? Who are an equally good team?

Take a look at Japans matches so far. South Africa came bottom of Group A - yet they sat back quite a bit against Japan, and only lost 1-0. France tried to go at them like mad and what was the score there? 4-0. Big difference. 

If anyone thinks we are gonna go out there and outplay Japan to win, they're delusional. We need to be cynical and if we do that well, we're in with a chance. 

Romania had the worst attack in Group B by far, and that's why they threatened us that little. Japan are much better than that - if we look like dominate or even up possession/territory against them, they'll kill us on the counter. 

Like it or not, being cynical and defensive (in a smart way!) is our best chance of winning. 
In cold hearted reality, likely lot of truth in these coments. I'd start Champness. His speed, should at least make Japanese a little nervous about Oly Whites counter.
One in a million
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Very quick turn around between games. Will be interesting to see if there are more squad rotations

Marquee
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almost 11 years
If we don't have Reid available I don't see us parking the bus as anything other than a way to reduce the embarrassment of the score line, it's not a way to win the game unless Japan has a really bad day in front of goal and Wood scores one of his half chances.
Phoenix Academy
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7 months
coochiee
Anyone seen Japan play? Who are their players to watch? Do they have any over age guys?

That 4-0 scoreline against the French is certainly very imposing. You would think our squad more closer in strength to the Saffas. Japanese didn't score their goal until well in the 2nd half of that one I note.

This is probably Japan's best chance of winning a major men's World tournament. I'm guessing they will have a well drilled team, of very good technical players, drawn mostly from the J League. Playing on all the stereotypes. Well used to playing in hot steamy conditions, J League being a summer comp.

Likely been together in training camps etc for months if not years building towards the OIympics. Think of what a cash strapped NZF did with having Wanderers FC leading up to a home U20 mens WC. Japanese FA will have thrown plenty resources at Tokyo 2020.

They are going to be tough, very very tough. 

I’d take the France win with a pinch of salt, it’s certainly not the same squad as their senior team, the overage players play in Mexico, and it’s made up of largely Ligue 1 youngsters, and they did concede 11 goals in three games. That being said Japan are still clear favourites, but NZ were higher odds for all three group games also.

Takefusa Kubo is probably the player getting the most hype in the Japan squad, he’s scored in all three games and is very highly rated. He’s been at La Masia (Barca’s academy) and now at Real Madrid, but spent last season on loan at Villarreal and Getafe. Their defence looks very tough, they have Premier League stalwart Maya Yoshida at centre back, Takehiro Tomiyasu (Bologna) who is linked with a move to Spurs and Hiroki Sakai (Marseille regular). Wataru Endo and Ritsu Doan were both Bundesliga regulars last season, Endo playing 33/34 for Stuttgart and Doan 34/34 for Arminia Bielefeld on loan from PSV.

The weather for Kashima looks to be fine, with temps of around 25 degrees and 85% humidity, so a lot more taxing than the fully-opaque, air-conditioned Sapporo Dome.
Lawyerish
1.2K
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4.4K
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over 10 years
The squad looks a good one and the J league is miles ahead of the A league. If what people say about hondourous is true - not up to an a league team standard, we will get murdered

Only advantage we have is no home crowd
Legend
2.3K
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about 14 years
Sakai suspended 
First Team Squad
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almost 3 years
Reads like some of you are suggesting we play Heraf ball against Japan !!
I thought we had moved on from that. 
I didn't think Stanger did enough vs Honduras to deserve a start or for Hay to go back to a 5-4-1.
Would prefer to see 4-3-3. Even if we will have to sit deep at times.
Going to be a very tough game no matter what.
Japan are surely the best prepared team for this olympics.
Trialist
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80
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Japan are gonna come at us like a Bullet Train, relentless pressure and constant  attacking. This is where the longball/Hayball counter should work. If we can frustrate them mentally then we have every chance of winning this.


WeeNix
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I first watched NZ try to qualify for the Olympics in 1988 - it was the full All Whites back then, but they came up short against Australia and Israel.  Then there were successive age group/U23 sides having a go - some got close (like v South Africa in 2000), others a lot less so... then we made our bow in 2008, seemed mainly just happy to be there, and 2012 was not overly successful after seeming promising.

So I look back at the sum of that history, and think that I never imagined we'd one day be one result away from playing for an Olympic medal!!  I'd love to see NZ sides play excellent football, like the U20s did at their World Cup - but frankly, that can wait just for now.  I want us to win.  I want us to make the semis, and see what happens.  And if it needs to be a little bit ugly to get there, I'll take that.  I don't want it to be our permanent philosophy going forward, but I'll take it if it gets a RESULT on Saturday...  guys, it's NZ in the Olympic quarterfinal - not a sentence I ever thought I'd get to say... 

The debates are necessary, no question, but they can wait - just enjoy this :)
and 6 others
Phoenix Academy
260
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220
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over 6 years
Khalil Media
I first watched NZ try to qualify for the Olympics in 1988 - it was the full All Whites back then, but they came up short against Australia and Israel.  Then there were successive age group/U23 sides having a go - some got close (like v South Africa in 2000), others a lot less so... then we made our bow in 2008, seemed mainly just happy to be there, and 2012 was not overly successful after seeming promising.

So I look back at the sum of that history, and think that I never imagined we'd one day be one result away from playing for an Olympic medal!!  I'd love to see NZ sides play excellent football, like the U20s did at their World Cup - but frankly, that can wait just for now.  I want us to win.  I want us to make the semis, and see what happens.  And if it needs to be a little bit ugly to get there, I'll take that.  I don't want it to be our permanent philosophy going forward, but I'll take it if it gets a RESULT on Saturday...  guys, it's NZ in the Olympic quarterfinal - not a sentence I ever thought I'd get to say... 

The debates are necessary, no question, but they can wait - just enjoy this :)
Well said mate. At last someone with a sense of perspective.
The team had two main goals going to Tokyo and one subsidiary one -
Goal A - win a game! Mission accomplished.
Goal B - progress from group. Mission accomplished!
The it's go as far as we can; everything from here is a bonus.
Well done to Danny Hay and the team.
Trialist
22
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24
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about 2 years
If we win this game, do we think that would be the biggest result for any NZ football team? Obviously the Bahrain win and the Italy draw from the 2010 World Cup campaign would rank up there. But winning a knockout game in a world tournament ... even if it's U24, that's pretty massive. 
Starting XI
1.1K
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3.7K
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over 14 years
lthomas20
reg22
lthomas20
coochiee
Back to steamy Kashima unfortunately. This game really has Korea Part II written all over it, with hopefully same result.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/olympics/300369534/improving-olywhites-face-toughest-test-yet-in-tokyo-olympics-quarterfinal-against-japan
Hay made four personnel changes as well as a change of system for Wednesday’s match under a closed roof at the Sapporo Dome and said afterwards: “We wanted to freshen things up”.

“We wanted to bring some players in that hadn't been exposed to the tough conditions that we faced down in Kashima [where they played their first two matches, in temperatures around 30 deg c].

“The idea was to have some legs and in the Dome it's a lot cooler, set at 19 degrees, so it allowed us to actually step on and press a lot higher.

“A lot of that was down for the conditions, and we just showed our ability to maintain possession a little bit better than we have over the last couple of games.”

The OlyWhites had 59 per cent of the ball against Romania, up from 44 per cent against Honduras, and 37 per cent against South Korea, and looked dangerous in the first half, before things got tighter in the second, where goalkeeper Michael Woud made a pair of saves to deny Romania, who might have only needed a goal to win and advance themselves.



Some will hate going back to that style but you know what I won't mind that. Got to keep it tight and stop them from playing their football, especially because in knockout stages it's okay to draw and end up in extra time/penalties. Have a good moment on the counterattack or two and we have a chance - but can't afford to make many errors at either end. 

If we take that approach, we will get murdered
How come we weren't murdered by Korea then? Who are an equally good team?

Take a look at Japans matches so far. South Africa came bottom of Group A - yet they sat back quite a bit against Japan, and only lost 1-0. France tried to go at them like mad and what was the score there? 4-0. Big difference. 

If anyone thinks we are gonna go out there and outplay Japan to win, they're delusional. We need to be cynical and if we do that well, we're in with a chance. 

Romania had the worst attack in Group B by far, and that's why they threatened us that little. Japan are much better than that - if we look like dominate or even up possession/territory against them, they'll kill us on the counter. 

Like it or not, being cynical and defensive (in a smart way!) is our best chance of winning. 

I'd have no problem with a defensive apprach if it was done in a manner that was going to enhance our chances of a result.

However, having watched Japan and seeing how we went about our business in the first two games, I can absolutely assure you that we will get pumped if we play that way again tomorrow.

We will need to have as much time with the ball as possible. Sitting in an over compacted deep unit of 9 will only invite trouble and give us nothing on the counter.
Legend
3.8K
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22K
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about 14 years
BrockieTheGOAT
If we win this game, do we think that would be the biggest result for any NZ football team? Obviously the Bahrain win and the Italy draw from the 2010 World Cup campaign would rank up there. But winning a knockout game in a world tournament ... even if it's U24, that's pretty massive. 


I'd say going through undefeated in a World Cup Finals is more of an achievement but this too has it's place. I'd put it second ahead of 1982 to be honest. In fairness to Hay & the team, they won 1, Drew 1 and lost one. More than 1982.
Starting XI
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3rd place women's U17 for me, then WC2010 then this.... Currently 🤞it bumps up the list.
Starting XI
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https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/26/footballs-olympics-status-is-too-much-of-a-joke-for-it-remain-games

Sadly here in Blighty we've seen very little of the men's footie and not a minute of the OlyWhites to change his mind.
Trialist
18
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over 2 years
Great article. 👍
Phoenix Academy
69
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200
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almost 3 years
Marto
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/26/footballs-olympics-status-is-too-much-of-a-joke-for-it-remain-games

Sadly here in Blighty we've seen very little of the men's footie and not a minute of the OlyWhites to change his mind.
That article is just a filler written by a generalist sports writer, so he pick up his pay.  For me it says nothing.
Trialist
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2 months
WeeNix
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590
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about 12 years
COnst
Marto
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/26/footballs-olympics-status-is-too-much-of-a-joke-for-it-remain-games

Sadly here in Blighty we've seen very little of the men's footie and not a minute of the OlyWhites to change his mind.
That article is just a filler written by a generalist sports writer, so he pick up his pay.  For me it says nothing.
except that he's an excellent journalist who writes extensively on football and is well respected in those circles. Disagree with his opinion by all means, but his credentials stack up and he never just phones it in.
Starting XI
1.1K
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4.6K
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about 13 years
carlind
coochiee
Anyone seen Japan play? Who are their players to watch? Do they have any over age guys?

That 4-0 scoreline against the French is certainly very imposing. You would think our squad more closer in strength to the Saffas. Japanese didn't score their goal until well in the 2nd half of that one I note.

This is probably Japan's best chance of winning a major men's World tournament. I'm guessing they will have a well drilled team, of very good technical players, drawn mostly from the J League. Playing on all the stereotypes. Well used to playing in hot steamy conditions, J League being a summer comp.

Likely been together in training camps etc for months if not years building towards the OIympics. Think of what a cash strapped NZF did with having Wanderers FC leading up to a home U20 mens WC. Japanese FA will have thrown plenty resources at Tokyo 2020.

They are going to be tough, very very tough. 

I’d take the France win with a pinch of salt, it’s certainly not the same squad as their senior team, the overage players play in Mexico, and it’s made up of largely Ligue 1 youngsters, and they did concede 11 goals in three games. That being said Japan are still clear favourites, but NZ were higher odds for all three group games also.

Takefusa Kubo is probably the player getting the most hype in the Japan squad, he’s scored in all three games and is very highly rated. He’s been at La Masia (Barca’s academy) and now at Real Madrid, but spent last season on loan at Villarreal and Getafe. Their defence looks very tough, they have Premier League stalwart Maya Yoshida at centre back, Takehiro Tomiyasu (Bologna) who is linked with a move to Spurs and Hiroki Sakai (Marseille regular). Wataru Endo and Ritsu Doan were both Bundesliga regulars last season, Endo playing 33/34 for Stuttgart and Doan 34/34 for Arminia Bielefeld on loan from PSV.

The weather for Kashima looks to be fine, with temps of around 25 degrees and 85% humidity, so a lot more taxing than the fully-opaque, air-conditioned Sapporo Dome.
Captain and centre-back Maya Yoshida used to be a Premier League stalwart at Southampton for eight years but tranferred permanently to Sampdoria in Serie A before last season after being on loan there the season before.
At 6' 2" he gives them some height in defense.
Yoshida started his European career in Holland (VVV Venlo), as did a few of the other players.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japan_national_under-23_football_team#Current_squad
Fellow centre-back Nakayama plays for Ryan Thomas' old club PEC Zwolle, midfielder Doan is on the books of PSV.
Some extra interest comes from Liberato Cacace coming up against his club team mate Daiko Hashioka from Sint Truiden in Belgium,  a fellow wing-back.
Defensive midfielder Endo, now at Stuttgart, played for Sint Truiden in the 2018-19 season.


Starting XI
1.1K
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3.7K
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over 14 years
Khalil Media
COnst
Marto
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/26/footballs-olympics-status-is-too-much-of-a-joke-for-it-remain-games

Sadly here in Blighty we've seen very little of the men's footie and not a minute of the OlyWhites to change his mind.
That article is just a filler written by a generalist sports writer, so he pick up his pay.  For me it says nothing.
except that he's an excellent journalist who writes extensively on football and is well respected in those circles. Disagree with his opinion by all means, but his credentials stack up and he never just phones it in.

Yip, Jonathan Liew is a very well respected football writer.

I think he presents a typically English view in this article that does not take in to account how much it means for those who don't have their own EPL
Starting XI
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I hope we win.
and 1 other
Marquee
2.6K
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over 6 years
reg22
Khalil Media
COnst
Marto
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/26/footballs-olympics-status-is-too-much-of-a-joke-for-it-remain-games

Sadly here in Blighty we've seen very little of the men's footie and not a minute of the OlyWhites to change his mind.
That article is just a filler written by a generalist sports writer, so he pick up his pay.  For me it says nothing.
except that he's an excellent journalist who writes extensively on football and is well respected in those circles. Disagree with his opinion by all means, but his credentials stack up and he never just phones it in.

Yip, Jonathan Liew is a very well respected football writer.

I think he presents a typically English view in this article that does not take in to account how much it means for those who don't have their own EPL

Or Euros. If he'd done his research, he would have found few countries in the world are as starved of international mens football as much as NZ, and it's football fans. 

Hence why to Wood & Reid (only 25 AWs games in 11 years) playing at an Olympics actually means something.
Phoenix Academy
69
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200
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almost 3 years
Khalil Media
COnst
Marto
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jul/26/footballs-olympics-status-is-too-much-of-a-joke-for-it-remain-games

Sadly here in Blighty we've seen very little of the men's footie and not a minute of the OlyWhites to change his mind.
That article is just a filler written by a generalist sports writer, so he pick up his pay.  For me it says nothing.
except that he's an excellent journalist who writes extensively on football and is well respected in those circles. Disagree with his opinion by all means, but his credentials stack up and he never just phones it in.
He has written extensively on a range of sports, hence being a generalist and is certainly not regarded as one of the top end of football journalists who write for the guardian.
As for writing about the joke value of football at the Olympics.  Liew clearly doesn't understand that the tournament is part of the the International Entertainment industry that is football and the interest it generates.  (Perhaps he thinks the world revolves around England still - rule Britannia....)  
It is crucially important for the future of the game in countries like NZ, where our teams (m&f) otherwise do not get experience on a world stage in this crucial gap between youth and senior competition.  The tournament is even more important for the careers of players who otherwise would not get the competition and exposure.
For me, the article says nothing of worth.  It constructs no arguments and carries no news.
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After we win, it looks likely we will have to play Korea again or Mexico.
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Barney Ronay also writes about other sports. Does that make him any less of a football journalist?
Marquee
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Reid starts
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Fire up lads! 

5-3-2 by the looks with Reid starting and the Waine train up front with the Woodsman
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Surprised Just is not in the team, thought he has been one of our better players.

Pleased Reid is back
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AucklandPhoenix
Surprised Just is not in the team, thought he has been one of our better players.

Pleased Reid is back

Agreed with you there. Can only be fatigue related surely?
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