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[JAPAN SPORTS NOTEBOOK] Samurai Blue Stumble in Final FIFA World Cup Tuneup

Admitting the loss to Canada was a blow to the players, manager Hajime Moriyasu said preparations needed for the upcoming FIFA World Cup won't change.

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Canada's Jonathan David boots the ball as Japan's Shogo Taniguchi defends in an international friendly at Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai on November 17. (Ⓒ SANKEI)

This article first appeared on SportsLook, JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website.

Exhibition matches give a coaching staff opportunities to evaluate a team's preparations for big events, including the biggest of them, the FIFA World Cup.

The Japan men's national team's mediocre performance against Canada on Thursday, November 17 was one such opportunity for Samurai Blue boss Hajime Moriyasu and his assistants.

Canada's 2-1 victory in Dubai at Al-Maktoum Stadium was a reminder that world rankings often mean very little once a match kicks off.

Japan is 24th in the rankings, while Canada is 41st. Canada is on the verge of competing in the World Cup for the first time since 1986, and Japan is getting ready for its seventh consecutive appearance.

Thursday's showdown wasn't a manifestation of either nation's soccer history. Instead, it was a visual display of Canada's resilience and joy to be gearing up for a trip to Qatar and a place in the 32-nation tournament.

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Read the full story, which also includes news items on basketball, baseball, track and field, horse racing and more, on SportsLook.


Author: Ed Odeven

Follow Ed on JAPAN Forward's [Japan Sports Notebook] here on Sundays, in [Odds and Evens] here during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven, and find him on JAPAN Forward's dedicated sports website, SportsLook.

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