The Japan national football team calendar in 2017 is complete with the national team confirming an international friendly against New Zealand in Nagoya next month.
Anthony Hudson’s team, who defeated the Solomon Islands home (6-1) and drew away (2-2) for a 8-3 win on aggregate to book their place in the Intercontinental Playoff in November, will face the World Number 44, Japan on Friday 6 October at Toyota Stadium in Nagoya.
While New Zealand won the OFC Final Stage Playoff, Japan defeated Australia 2-0 in the AFC Stage Three Qualifiers to book their place in the FIFA World Cup in 2018.
New Zealand boss Hudson said the fixture, which will be for the Kirin Challenge Cup, would be a great test for his side in their final match before taking on the fifth-ranked South American team for a place at the FIFA World Cup.
“We are really pleased to have this international friendly with Japan confirmed,” said Hudson. “Japan are a top team and they are a team in form as they have qualified for the World Cup next year – their sixth World Cup in a row which is a great achievement.”
Japan are one of the most dominant teams in the Asian Football Confederation. They have qualified for the last six consecutive FIFA World Cups and advanced to the second round in 2002 and 2010.
In recent time they have been on a great run in the AFC Stage Three Qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification. They went on a great run winning 10 internationals in a row to be top of Group B. In that run they defeated Thailand (2), Iraq, Oman, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, drew with
The most recent international between New Zealand and Japan was in 2014 in Tokyo where Chris Wood scored twice, but Japan went on to win 4-2.