The Black Stars of Ghana would face Japanese counterparts in a friendly in the annual Kirin Challenge Cup slated for the Yokohama International Stadium Wednesday, 30 May, 2018.
Despite missing out on this year’s World Cup having appeared in the last three successive edition, the Black Stars would engage the Samurai Blue of Japan who would be making their sixth successive World Cup appearance in Russia.
Both coaches carry different motives going into this friendly encounter, but Japanese coach Akira Nishino, would use the match as an opportunity to take a close look at his 27-man squad before he trims the squad to 23 by Monday, June 4.
For Ghana’s coach Kwesi Appiah this match serves the purpose towards his rebuilding exercise as he looks to build a formidable squad for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
Coach Appiah, shockingly left out captain Asamoah Gyan as well as the Andre and Jordan Ayew who have recently being axed by the gaffer in his call-ups despite the consistent form for English side, Swansea City.
Atletico Madrid Thomas Partey is expected to lead the Black Stars on the field, especially with the absence of Asamoah Gyan while Reading’s Andrew Kwasi Okyere would be looking to make his debut appearance for the Black Stars.
Former Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa headlines Nishino’s 27-man squad for this year’s World Cup and hoping to make the final cut for Russia.
Leicester’s Shinji Okazaki is expected to lead the line for the Japanese who were ruthless in the qualifiers as they were the first team apart from Brazil to qualify for this year’s mundial.
The first meeting between the two country dates back to 1994 when they met in a friendly in a Asics Cup match where they Japanese won by 3-2.
The Black Stars have only won once against the Japanese in five meetings and that was in an international friendly back in 2006 where the Stars won 1-0.
Ghana wins – 1
Goals scored – 8
Draws – 0
Japan – 4
Goals scored – 12
Ghana squad: Richard Ofori (Maritzburg FC, South Africa) Lawrence Ati Zigi (Sochaux, France) Lumor Abgenyenu (Sporting CP, Portugal) Kyere yiadom Andrews (Reading, England) Kwasi Okyere (Bayern Munich, Germany)Afriyie Acquah (Torino, Italy) Kassim Nuhu (Young Boys, Switzerland) Dwamena Raphael (FC Zurich, Switzerland) Frank Acheampong (Tianjin Teda, China), Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid,Spain) Emmanuel Boateng (Levante, Spain) Gyasi Edwin (CSKA Sofia, Bulgaria) Thomas Agyepong (NAC Breda, Holland) Rashid Sumaila (Al Gharafa, Qatar) Nicholas Opoku (Club African, Tunisia) Nana Ampomah (Waasland- Beveren, Belgium) Albert Adomah (Aston Villa, England)
Japan squad: Eiji Kawashima (Metz). Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa Reysol), Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino, Wataru Endo (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji, Naomichi Ueda (Kashima Antlers), (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi, Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki Frontale), Kento Misao (Kashima Antlers), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz), Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Takuma Asano (Stuttgart).
Kick-off is at 11:25 GMT (Wednesday)