Japan’s opponents for their two October A matches have been confirmed. South Korea, on the other hand, is still undecided.
The Japan Football Association (JFA) announced through its official channels on Oct. 8 that Canada has been confirmed as the opponent for the October 13 match. Earlier, the JFA announced that they will play Tunisia on October 17.
Japan, ranked 20th in the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), will play Canada (43rd) and Tunisia (31st) in two back-to-back matches in October. Both games will be played at home.
Before that, Japan will play a two-game series in Europe in September. On Sept. 9, they will face Germany (15th) in an exhibition match, before traveling to Belgium three days later to take on Turkuye (41st). The idea is to spar with strong opponents in Europe and then prepare for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in Qatar next January against quality teams.
Jürgen Klinsmann’s men’s national soccer team hasn’t even finalized its September A-match opponent yet. South Korea is preparing for its first European exhibition match in September. The team will travel to Wales to face the Welsh (ranked 35th) in an exhibition match, with a second round opponent still to be determined. North and Central American powerhouse Mexico was initially mentioned, but negotiations broke down. Since then, the news has been murky.
The same goes for the October sparring partners. South Korea, which is planning a domestic trial, is likely to face Vietnam (ranked 95th). Klinsmann reportedly wanted a defensive opponent to prepare for the Asian Cup 안전놀이터.
Both Korea and Japan, who are looking to win the Asian Cup, will be sparring with teams of different levels and styles ahead of the tournament. Japan has certainly gotten a head start on their matchups with the big boys. South Korea, on the other hand, doesn’t even have a confirmed opponent for their A match next month, which is causing some concern.
South Korea was placed in Group E of the Asian Cup alongside Malaysia, Jordan, and Bahrain. Japan competes in Group D with Indonesia, Iraq, and Vietnam.