East Asia Japan

Furuhashi Stars as Japan Saw Off Tunisia

Both Kyogo Furuhashi and Junya Ito impressed at the Misaki Park Stadium as Japan overcame Tunisia 2-0 in Tuesday night’s friendly match, with the two players bagging a goal a piece that helped Samurai Blue to their sixth win in six matches.

In the initial 45 minutes, Japan controlled the game, keeping Tunisia confined to their own half. Wataru Endo and Hidemasa Morita operated as a dynamic midfield duo, orchestrating plays in tight spaces. Despite their dominance, the Samurai Blue struggled to convert their advantage into shots on goal, until Glasgow Celtic danger man Furuhashi capitalized on a crucial opportunity in the 43rd minute.

A well-constructed sequence involving Endo, Morita, and Takefusa Kubo led to Reo Hatate receiving the ball. His pass took a deflection off a Tunisian player, conveniently finding his Celtic teammate in Furuhashi. The striker displayed excellent ball control, positioning himself near the penalty spot, and skillfully evaded Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen before slotting home to give Japan a deserved lead.

Nine minute after the hour-mark, Real Sociedad star Kubo dashed past his marker on the left flank, delivering a precise pass to Ito. Ito executed a composed first-time strike, sending the ball inside the right-hand post.

Ayase Ueda came close to scoring soon after, striking the post with a powerful left-footed shot from an acute angle. This attempt followed a clever cutback from the left by substitute Takumi Minamino. Japan continued to press the Tunisian goal relentlessly until the final moments of the match.

Japan goalkeeper Zion Suzuki, who recently joined Belgian side Sint-Truiden despite interest from Manchester United, had a quiet game, with no shots on target during his second appearance for Japan. Tunisia had their first opportunity in the closing minute of the match and came perilously close to scoring, but substitute Haithem Jouini’s header, which took a deflection, struck the post.

The win ensured that Japan had won all six of their most recent six matches, a run that started with a 6-0 thrashing of El Salvador back in June and included beatings of Germany, Turkey, and Canada in subsequent months. This excellent run of form gave an ominous warning to the rest of Asia on what the Samurai Blue are capable of, with games in both the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as well as the 2023 AFC Asian Cup (held in 2024 in Qatar) coming up around the corner for Hajime Moriyasu’s men.