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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017 [10/10] TOP > NEWS > KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017 Preview: First-time opponents Haiti National Team with excellent individual skills and menacing counter-attacks


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KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017 Preview: First-time opponents Haiti National Team with excellent individual skills and menacing counter-attacks

02 October 2017

KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017 Preview: First-time opponents Haiti National Team with excellent individual skills and menacing counter-attacks

On Tuesday 10 October, Haiti National Team will face Japan in the 2017 KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017.

Haiti is one of the beautiful islands in the Caribbean, but they haven’t had much success in the World Cup. The national team made their last appearance in the 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany. However, in recent years, they failed to get through the qualifiers and reach the main tournament.

The Haitian squad booked a place in the Centenario edition of the Copa América in 2016 as one of the two play-off winners among the four highest finishers, who haven’t already qualified for the South American competition, in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. However, they were eliminated in the group stage by losing all three matches which included a comprehensive defeat against Brazil where they conceded seven goals in total.

Their national team entered the CONCACAF Qualifiers for the World Cup Russia from the third round, where they beat Grenada and advanced to the next round. Being in the same group as Costa Rica, Panama and Jamaica, they played a home-and-away tie and recorded one win, four losses and one draw, and were driven out in the fourth round of the qualifiers. They have displayed their strength in defence by only conceding 4 goals in 6 games, but it was the scoring which was the main problem for the Haitian squad who only netted two in the group stage.

Their hopes to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup this year were squashed by Nicaragua in the playoffs. Despite their struggle in the international competition, they are ranked 48th (as of 14 September) in the world according to the FIFA. They are hardly an underdog team for the Samurai squad.

It will be the first time that the top teams of Haiti and Japan square off against each other. However, the U-17 teams have previously met in the 2007 World Cup, where the young Japanese internationals beat the Caribbean counterparts 3-1 with one of the goals scored from KAKITANI Yoichiro who currently plays for Cerezo Osaka.

The main members of their current national squad are born after 1990 and also are the generation of players who participated in the mentioned U-17 World Cup in 2007, including their leader in the backline, Meschak JEROME.

There are few other notable players in their national team. Captain Johny PLACIDE is a highly experienced goalkeeper who had a successful career in the French League making a total of 53 Ligue1 and 93 Ligue2 appearances. Duckens NAZON is another noteworthy player. The 23-year old striker who currently plays for Coventry City in League Two, the fourth tier of the English Football, made his debut in the national team in 2014 and since then scored 8 goals in 21 “International A Match” appearances including three goals netted during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Haiti mostly employ a 4-2-3-1 formation, where they capitalise on the speed of both fullbacks to attack with pace from the flanks. Japan are expected to dominate in possession in the upcoming match on the 10th, but if the Haitian squad can neutralise the menacing attacks from the Samurai warriors with their solid and tenacious defence, then they can take advantage of their individual talents to hit on the counter-attacks and threaten the Japanese goal.

6 October 2017 (Fri.) Kick-off 19:20 (Estimated time)
SAMURAI BLUE vs New Zealand National Team
Aichi/Toyota Stadium
TV Broadcasting. Live broadcasting across Japan by NIPPON TV Group

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