Vila Times

New Zealand to play friendly game against Japan in October

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The New Zealand national football team to play an international friendly against Japan in Nagoya next month.

Anthony Hudson’s team defeated the Solomon Islands home (6-1) and drew away (2-2) for an 8-3 win on aggregate to book their place in the Intercontinental Playoff in November, and will face the World No 44 Japan on Friday 6 October at Toyota Stadium in Nagoya.

While the All Whites won the OFC Stage 3 Playoff, Japan defeated Australia (2-0) in the AFC Stage Three Qualifiers to book their place in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia, New Zealand Football reports.

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,” he said.

“They 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. They are a great team for us to play now that we have qualified for the Intercontinental Playoff in November.

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.