Japan to play Montenegro, Colombia in Kirin Cup

Defending Asian Cup champion Japan will tune-up for this year's edition with games against Montenegro and Colombia in the Kirin Cup, the Japan Football Association announced. Japan will play Montenegro in the opening game on 1 June and will face Colombia four days later. Colombia takes on Montenegro on 4 June. The Kirin Cup is an annual football tournament organised in Japan by the Kirin Corporation. Since 1992 only national teams have participated.

The matches will be Japan's last before they travel to Vietnam for the Asian Cup in July. "These are good teams and are not easy opponents to play," Japan coach Ivica Osim said of his side's Kirin Cup rivals. "But I hope we can be successful and can become more competitive against stronger sides at international level by getting good results against them. With the Asian Cup to come, an opportunity like this will help us. We won't treat the Kirin Cup as a test or a rehearsal for the Asian Cup. We'll play as hard as we would do in the World Cup."