Chile's title defense begins against Japan

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On Monday, in Morumbi, La Roja will face the Asians in the first matchday of Group C.

Under the leadership of Alexis Sanchez and the brave Arturo Vidal, Chile begins on Monday the defense of the Copa America title against a rejuvenated Japan with the promise of Real Madrid, Takefusa Kubo.

The team led by Colombian Reinaldo Rueda will seek to equal the Argentine record of three consecutive titles, when they face Japan at 8pm (Brasilia) at the Morumbí Stadium in São Paulo. The South Americans have never beaten the Asians: (in 2008 they tie 0-0 and in 2009 Japan scored 4-0).

To achieve the achievement La Albiceleste have been protecting since the mid-20th century, La Roja coach Reinaldo Rueda of Colombia has the entire team available for the Group C debuts, which complete Uruguay and Ecuador.

“They are a rival with a great growth in their football culture. That eastern culture has two fundamental factors … respect and discipline”, Rueda said.

The Colombian prepared a team that has the backbone of the team that won the two-time U.S. championship with Alexis Sanchez leading the attack along with Eduardo Vargas, as well as defenders Gary Medel and Mauricio Isla and midfielders Charles Aránguiz and Vidal. At his side new faces, such as the goalkeeper Gabriel Arias or midfielder Erick Pulgar.

– The Japanese Jewel –

Japan returns to the American territory to fight for the second time, as a guest, in the world’s oldest national team competition CONMEBOL Copa América Brazil 2019. Two decades ago he was in Paraguay, from where he returned with one of nine possible points.

With an average age of 22 years in his team, Hajime Moriyasu takes the championship understanding the importance of the rivals he will face.

“We will face some of the best players in the world”, said the TD. “There’s too much we need to learn and get from the competition.

Possible line-ups:

Chile: Gabriel Arias; Guillermo Maripán, Mauricio Isla, Gary Medel, Jean Beausejour; Erick Pulgar, Charles Aránguiz, Arturo Vidal; Alexis Sánchez, Eduardo Vargas and José Pedro Fuenzalida.
Coach: Reinaldo Rueda.

Japan: Keisuke Osako; Naomichi Ueda, Ko Itakura, Takehiro Tomiyasu; Tatsuya Ito, Gaku Shibasaki, Hiroki Abe, Koji Miyoshi; Takefusa Kubo, Shinji Okazaki, Shoya Nakajima.
Coach: Hajime Moriyasu.

Referee: Mario Diaz de Vivar (PAR)

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