Uruguay wants to repeat the dominant start they had against Ecuador, defeating Japan in Porto Alegre on Thursday, and advance to the quarterfinals of the Copa America 2019 with two on fire players, Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez. Japan arrives with a very clear motto, never lose faith.
This Thursday, June 20th, starting at 20:00 local time (23:00 GMT) in Porto Alegre (south) the game of Uruguayans and Asians will begin to define the positions in a Group C that completes its second date on Friday, with Ecuador against Chile.
For La Celeste, against Japan, the count is easy, a victory gives the ticket to the quarterfinals. The history of the maximum champion of Copa América, with 15 titles, and the present of a team full of stars demand a triumph.
Uruguay defeated Ecuador 4-0 in its debut and comes to the tournament with the indication of having been the best South American in the past World Cup of Russia-2018, losing in the quarterfinals against the champion, France.
-No underestimating is allowed-
Uruguay won, enjoyed and scored against Ecuador, but in football every game is a world. Oscar Tabarez’s team must avoid underestimating an opponent who has fallen 4-0 to Chile, the two-time champions.
“They’re very young players, very dynamic. Japan has the virtue of being dynamic until the end, beyond adversity” said the Charrúa goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
The Celeste, backed by a pure goal start comes to the match against Japan with one man less in the team: Matías Vecino suffered a muscle injury and was left out.
In order to replace him, the ‘Maestro’ will have to choose between two young midfielders: Lucas Torreira (Arsenal) and Federico Valverde (Real Madrid). The first is a safe score, the second provides more impact, hoever, in both cases expectations for their game are high.
-Never give up-
Chile’s goal shouts are still echoing in Japanese surroundings; however, the team promises to fight back against the Charrúas.
“We’ll have a very strong team in front of us but we’re going to be looking for victory” said ‘Samurais Azules’ coach Hajime Moriyasu after the win over Chile.
Against Uruguay, Japan will seek revenge and Takefusa Kubo, the ‘Japanese Messi’, will have another chance to show his football before a Latin audience that celebrates players of his type, skillful and full of boldness to avoid rival legs.
Uruguay: Fernando Muslera – Martín Cáceres, Diego Godín, José María Giménez, Diego Laxalt – Nahitán Nández, Rodrigo Bentancur, Federico Valverde o Lucas Torreira, Nicolás Lodeiro – Luis Suárez, Edinson Cavani. Coach: Oscar Tabarez.
Japan: Keisuke Osako – Teruki Hara, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Naomichi Ueda, Daiki Sugioka – Takefusa Kubo, Gaku Shibasaki, Daizen Maeda, Yuta Nakayama – Shoya Nakajima, Ayase Ueda. Coach: Hajime Moriyasu.
Referee: Andrés Rojas (COL).