Japan vs Canada Football Match 17 Now 2022
A 36-year wait to compete in the finals is nearly over as the youngsters In this Canadian squad prepare to play on football’s biggest stage for the first time.
John Herdman finalised his roster on Sunday, with the architect of this resurging program focusing more on youth heading into the finals, as only six players chosen are currently 30 years of age or older.
They may be one of the most inexperienced sides heading to Qatar, but Les Rouges have shown an ability to overwhelm veteran opponents with their transitional play.
In addition to that, numerous Canadian players are making an impact with their club teams in some of the top European competitions this season.
Despite going winless in their last two encounters, Canada have created their share of chances, drawing Bahrain 2-2 last Friday and out-possessing Uruguay in September, but ultimately falling 2-0.
Since 2016, Canada have only lost one of their four fixtures against Asian opponents, with their last victory coming in September, 2-0 versus Qatar.
Heading into their seventh successive trip to the finals, Japan have been dealt a tough hand, drawing a pair of former World Cup winners in Germany and Spain in Group E, alongside Costa Rica.
As a result, their odds of qualifying for the last 16 for the fourth time in their history appears doubtful, though they proved to be a formidable opponent in Russia four years ago.
Since a 3-0 defeat against Tunisia at the Kirin Cup final, Hajime Moriyasu’s men have been a lot sharper defensively, posting five successive clean sheets.
While few expect them to make it beyond the group stage in Qatar, this is a team that should not be taken lightly, with Japan holding World Cup favourites Brazil goalless until the 77th minute in a 1-0 defeat in June, one of only two losses for them all year.
Their defensive performances have stood out lately, but this team is filled with creative midfielders who flourish at club level and with the national team.
Canada will only be the third CONCACAF nation they face since 2020, with the Samurai Blue losing 2-0 versus Mexico nearly two years ago, while they did well to neutralise a strong USA squad earlier this year, winning by that same score and failing to concede a shot on target.