Football: Japan to test new faces in New Year's Day match vs Thailand

Japan men's football manager Hajime Moriyasu plans to see how some new attackers will do in Monday's New Year's Day friendly against Thailand at Tokyo's National Stadium.

"I'd like to try inexperienced players, and I want them to go for it and play aggressively," Moriyasu told a press conference on Sunday, the eve of the first ever New Year's Day match for Japan's senior team.

Sint-Truiden's Ryotaro Ito has been called up for the first time, while Nurnberg's Kanji Okunuki is looking to make his national team debut after being ruled out for Japan in October against Canada and Tunisia due to poor physical condition.

Kashiwa Reysol forward Mao Hosoya is expected to be among Japan's starting lineup.

Underdogs Thailand are led by Japanese manager Masatada Ishii.

"It's an honor to play (Japan)," said the former manager of the J-League's Kashima Antlers and Omiya Ardija. "We want to give them a challenge."

Moriyasu will announce his squad for the Asian Cup, beginning Jan. 12 in Qatar, after the Thailand match.

© Kyodo News