Japan to face Brazil in October friendly
Asian champions Japan will face Brazil in a friendly in Singapore on October 14, in a high-profile test for new coach Javier Aguirre, the Japan Football Association (JFA) said Thursday.
The 55-year-old Mexican, set to arrive in Japan this weekend, has a potentially tricky start with home friendlies against Uruguay on September 5 and Venezuela on September 9.
Japan, whose World Cup flop led to the resignation of Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni, will also play Jamaica in Niigata on October 10 before flying out to face Brazil, who they have yet to beat in 10 previous meetings.
Aguirre, poised to become Japan's highest-paid coach ever with an estimated annual salary of almost $2.5 million, led Mexico to the last 16 of the 2002 and 2010 World Cups.
The former Espanyol manager recently told Spanish daily Marca he had been unimpressed with Japan's performance in Brazil, where they picked up just one point in three games, calling for "a more competitive edge and Latin cunning".
Zaccheroni faced heavy criticism of his tactics and selection at the World Cup while key players such as Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa were also slammed for failing to make an impact.
Brazil's World Cup ended in tears for the host nation after being humiliated 7-1 by eventual winners Germany in the semi-finals.
Luiz Felipe Scolari was replaced as coach by 1994 World Cup-winning skipper Dunga in the shake-up resulting from Brazil's traumatic exit.