FIFA U-17 World Cup: Japan Coach hints at resting several key players including Kubo for New Caledonia game

[caption id="attachment_56336" align="alignnone" width="580"]DSC00502 Japanese Messi Takefusa Kubo (centre) will start at the bench in the Group E clash against New Caledonia at Salt Lake Stadium on Saturday. Image Source: Xtra Time[/caption]

Kolkata: Several key Japanese players including Takefusa Kubo might be rested by Coach Yoshiro Moriyama for the last Group E clash against New Caledonia at the Salt Lake Stadium here on Saturday. The move is to test their bench strengths against relatively low key opponents who are making their debut in the FIFA U17 World Cup in India.

The Asian giants need just a win tomorrow to seal a berth in the Knock Out stages.

"We need to win in order to go to the next round. There are some players who are eager to play on the pitch and we will know who can be the key players when we get to the next stage. So we will have some new players and some who played in the previous two matches and balance can be maintained by that," Yoshitake told reporters after their first training session here in Kolkata.

There is a possibility that Japan might face England if they end up being second in Group E, assuming England tops Group F.

"England is a strong team with strong individuals. Using our passes and our strength we can play a good game and we will play our football," midfielder Naoki Tsubaki said when asked about facing England.

Japanese prodigy Takefusa Kubo is likely to start on the bench tomorrow. Asked about Kubo, the coach said: "We are not depending on one player. For us, Nakamura is the top scorer and we can play our on football whoever is on the pitch. Let’s see for you who can be the star player."

Nakamura scored a brace against Honduras in the first game. Japan won by 6-1 and lost to France 2-1.

We started the tournament well with first game win. Against France, we took some good lessons on the things we need to fix before the knockout stages. We will use those lessons for the next matches," added the Japanese Coach.

Moriyama also added that from the knockout stages, every match for his team will be like a final.

"Once we are in the knockout stages every match is a final. We will take one game at a time thinking it will be a final match. We will go ahead like that."

Japan has so far garnered three points from two matches.


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