5 September 2019
Japan and Paraguay go head-to-head at Kashima Soccer Stadium for an international friendly fixture that sees the two sides with identical returns from the last three outings (D2, L1) trying to start a new winning cycle.
It will be the ninth H2H meeting between these two nations in the 21st century, with Japan coming out on top three times in the last eight H2Hs (W3, D5). Only one of those clashes has seen both teams score with five of the remaining seven ending with the same 0-0 scoreline.
The hosts are not enjoying the best of times, having won just two of eight games since February (W2, D3, L3). The Samurai Blue faced five South American sides in that sequences (W1, D2, L2), picking up a single win (1-0 over Bolivia). While both of those draws, with Uruguay and Ecuador, saw both teams score, both of their defeats, to Colombia and Chile, witnessed Japan struggle to find the back of the net. Also, just six of Japan’s 14 matches since the turn of the year featured under 2.5 goals, with only five of them seeing both teams score.
Meanwhile, it will be Paraguay’s first game since the 2019 Copa America (CA) penalty-shootout elimination to Brazil. Los Guaraníes surprisingly managed to go past the CA group stage even though they’ve failed to win a single match in Group B (D2, L1). Also, only one of Paraguay’s six games this summer produced over 2.5 goals although three have witnessed goals on both ends. A 2-0 win over Guatemala in an international friendly back in June is La Albirroja’s only win in almost two years (W1, D5, L6), and also one of two matches in that span that has seen them keep a clean sheet.
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