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Canada Men's National Team

Canada Lose Badly To Japan In International Friendly

By on October 13, 2023 2 928 Views

Canada lost a 4-1 friendly to Japan in Niigata at the Denka Blue Swan Stadium on Friday in a game where they looked completely out of sorts.

“It’s a disappointing result for us,” Mauro Biello, who is currently Canadian interim managed, said in his post-game press conference.

Japan got goals from Ao Tanaka, who scored a brace, while Keito Nakamura and an own goal from Alphonso Davies secured a hefty win for the hosts. It was the first time since the World Cup that Canada has conceded four goals.

“We played one of the hottest teams in international football. Obviously there are a lot of learnings from this game and things we need to improve,” continued Biello.

Canada Soccer Mauro Biello
Photo Credit: Canada Soccer

Japan started applying pressure early in the game and in the second minute of the game off a mad scramble in the box, they opened the scoring when Derek Cornelius attempted to clear a ball and it went to Tanaka who fired the ball into the back of the net.

“You can’t make mistakes and individual errors against a very good team.”

20 minutes later, Alphonso Davies was taken down by the Japanese keeper Keisuke Osako and Canada was awarded a penalty. However, Jonathan David was denied by the foot of Osako making a brilliant save.

“We obviously missed the penalty and at 1-0, it could have changed the game.”

In the 39th minute, Japan made it 2-0 as Davies unfortunately deflected a pass right into his own net.

The hosts would add a third before half-time through Keito Nakamura as the visiting Canadian side continued to struggle in defensive moments.

Tanaka made it 4-0 four minutes into the second half when he finished a great play receiving a lob pass and beating Milan Borjan with a powerful strike inside the box that went top corner.

“At the end of the day, we need to learn from this.”

In the 77th minute, Kamal Miller had a chance at goal with a quick shot from distance that forced Osako to make a brilliant save to deflect the ball over the crossbar and out of danger.

“I thought we grew into the game. Obviously, we need to score when we get those opportunities. We are playing away from home – in these situations when you make mistakes against good teams and great players, they will make you pay.”

Junior Hoilett saved some face for Canada as in the 89th minute he got his country on the board when he got a superb cross pass from Jonathan David, tapping it into the empty side of the net.

“We have to learn from these situations and grow and get ready for November.”

Biello was asked to detail the positives of the game playing against one of the most in-form footballing nations on the planet.

“We weren’t shy to play: we tried to build and those were positives. Our goal was a really good sequence and we possessed a good part of the game.”

He was also asked about the situation that the team hadn’t played together since June and it felt like there was a lack of preparation or cohesion since they only had three days to prepare.

“It wasn’t an easy trip, the jet lag is never easy, but however we did play a very good team who is coming off big wins against big countries and to play in front of their fans. We lacked cohesion…and I didn’t expect that scoreline.”

Biello was asked if he was more disappointed with the result or the way his team lost.

“We are disappointed with the result. We gave them two easy goals and we made errors we shouldn’t be making against a team of this caliber. There are things we need to improve on.”

Canada will now focus on a home and way Concacaf Nations League qualifier which also will serve as a qualifier for the Copa America and it was confirmed by Canada Soccer earlier in the week that BMO Field will host the qualifier on November 21st.

  • JAMES 9 months ago

    Disappointed with the result? Frankly, they should be happy Japan took their foot off the pedal after the 4th goal; it could have been much worse. Biello should absolutely be more disappointed with the way they lost rather than the result.

  • Kent 9 months ago

    Where was the comment about Alistair Johnston’s cynical foul? This player stomped on Nakamura Keito’s ankle with his spike then tried to elbow another player. Football is a contact sport but this kind of cynical foul has no place in football. And this happens in a friendly match. He could have ended a career.

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