Kyogo Furuhashi and Daizen Maeda of Celtic were both featured in Japan’s 1-0 loss to Brazil in Tokyo.
Hajime Moriyasu, Japan’s manager, decided to trust Kyogo for a starting spot, and he put on
a performance against Marquinhos and Eder Militao, respectively. Maeda, on the other
hand, came on for his Celtic teammate with just under 25 minutes remaining, hoping to
inject some enthusiasm into the final moments.
In a lucky result for Tite’s heavyweights, it required a late Neymar penalty to give Brazil the
victory. The game is the final friendly encounter for Japan before the Kirin Cup on Friday.
In particular, Kyogo led the line admirably in the first half. Furuhashi’s movement in behind
unsettled the Brazil centre-backs, and his deft footwork resulted in multiple free kicks as he
held the ball up impressively.
He was, nevertheless, a goal danger at times. In the first half, the former Vissel Kobe player
found himself between both Brazil centre-backs and headed over. Before the halftime
whistle, he came dangerously close to latching onto a knock-down in the box.
The second 45 saw a quieter performance, but he was still dropping deep and using his
technical abilities to bring others into action. Early in the second half, Kyogo’s strong shot at
goal was deflected wide before he was replaced by Maeda after 66 minutes.
Japan’s Against a star-studded Brazil, Kyogo and Daizen Maeda hold their own
As the game drew to a close, Maeda was unable to get a clear shot on goal. As the game
progressed, it became increasingly difficult for Japan’s forward players to create an effect.
On rare occasions, however, his pace was clearly causing issues for a tired Brazilian back line.
As he also sank deep to carry out his defensive effort, he gave Japan something they
needed to assist them try to get a draw.
Maeda introduced as a direct replacement for Kyogo at centre-forward by Moriyasu.
Despite playing primarily as a winger for Celtic this season, he has been a consistent
performer. Despite this, he managed to put a lot of energy and intensity into his
performance, and he might consider himself unlucky to have lost against Kyogo.
It’s still a boost to both men’s spirits that they were able to demonstrate some of their best
qualities against a team of Brazil’s caliber today. It’s a positive sign for Maeda and Kyogo’s
Champions League campaign next season.
It’s also worth noting that Ko Itakura, who is linked to Celtic, played the complete 90
minutes and performed admirably against the likes of Neymar and Richarlison.
On Friday, Japan will play Ghana in the Kirin Cup semi-final. Kyogo and Maeda couldn’t have
done much more today to earn that slot. Regardless of the loss, Moriyasu must have been
pleased with both men.