Football: Japan nat’l team trains for New Year’s Day game vs Thailand

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The Japanese men’s national football team began to train Thursday in Chiba for its New Year’s Day friendly against Thailand.

Monday’s match at Tokyo’s National Stadium will be the team’s first New Year’s Day friendly and serve as a warm-up for the Asian Cup starting Jan. 12 in Qatar.

Members of the Samurai Blue, including Borussia Monchengladbach’s Ko Itakura and Reims’ Junya Ito, played a mini game, while Bochum’s Takuma Asano and Stuttgart’s Hiroki Ito trained separately from the team.

Feyenoord’s Ayase Ueda rested at the team’s accommodations due to poor health.

Since Jan. 1 does not fall o...

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