Australia to meet New Zealand in Ichihara


Australia’s men’s football team will take on New Zealand in an international friendly prior to the commencement of the Tokyo 2020 Men’s Football Tournament this month.

The international friendly, which will be played in front of a capped crowd of 1,500 spectators at the ZA Oripri Stadium in Ichihara City, will be held on Monday, 12 July 2021 with kick-off at 6pm local time (7pm AEST).

The game between Australia and New Zealand will not be broadcast or live streamed, however regular social media updates will be made available via socceroos.com.au and the official Socceroos Twitter handle.

A second international friendly in Japan prior to the start of the Tokyo 2020 Men’s Football Tournament will be announced in due course.

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Australia’s men’s football team has arrived in Japan and will spend the next few days training in Fukushima Prefecture at the impressive J-Village National Training Centre.

J-Village, which features eight natural turf pitches, two artificial turf pitches, an all-weather practice field, gym and recovery facilities, as well as on-site accommodation, is the perfect first base for Australia to prepare for its Tokyo 2020 Men’s Football Tournament Group C matches against Argentina, Spain, and Egypt.

Australia will swap Fukushima Prefecture north of Tokyo for Chiba Prefecture east of the capital on July 8. While in Ichihara City, the squad will play two international friendly matches at the ZA Oripri Stadium – the former home of J2 club JEF United Chiba.

Following these international friendlies Australia’s delegation will travel north to Sapporo to commence its Group C fixtures. Australia’s men’s football team will play Argentina at the Sapporo Dome on Thursday, 22 July – a day prior to the Tokyo 2020 Opening Ceremony in Tokyo – before playing Spain at the same venue three days later. Australia will round out its Group Stage fixtures against Egypt at the Miyagi Stadium in Rifu on Wednesday, 28 July.

Australia’s Head Coach Graham Arnold said he’s pleased with the plans that have been put in place for the squad, who have the best part of three weeks together before Australia’s first men’s match of the Tokyo 2020 Men’s Football Tournament.

“It has been great having the players together in Fukushima over the past few days,” Arnold said. “We have already made some great progress with our squad and will develop much further before kick-off against Argentina on July 22.”

“Japan has great facilities and the planning that has been put in place by Football Australia, in close collaboration with the Australian Olympic Committee, as well as Naraha Town and Ichihara City, will ensure we have great environments to prepare for our first men’s participation at the Olympic Games since Beijing 2008.

“The international friendlies that we will play, including against New Zealand, will help the squad to gel together before the Games.” 

International Friendly – Australia v New Zealand
Date: Monday, 12 July 2021
Venue: ZA Oripri Stadium, Ichihara City, Japan
Kick-off: 6pm local; 7pm AEST
Match Updates: www.twitter.com/Socceroos

Tokyo 2020 Men’s Football Tournament – Group C 

Match 1: Argentina v Australia 
Date: Thursday, 22 July 2021
Venue: Sapporo Dome, Sapporo, Japan
Kick-off: 7:30pm local; 8:30pm AEST 
Broadcast: Seven Network

Match 2: Australia v Spain 
Date: Sunday, 25 July 2021 
Venue: Sapporo Dome, Sapporo, Japan
Kick-off: 7:30pm local; 8:30pm AEST
Broadcast: Seven Network

Match 3: Australia v Egypt 
Date: Wednesday, 28 July 2021
Venue: Miyagi Stadium, Rifu, Japan
Kick-off: 8pm local; 9pm AEST 
Broadcast: Seven Network