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SA U23 side up for sizzling challenge against Japanese Olympic side
- Updated: June 28, 2016
Owen da Gama’s national U23 team have arrived in the Japanese city of Matsumoro in Japan to be greeted by searing temperatures of around 36 degree Celsius.
But despite the punishing travel schedule and high temperatures, the squad remained in high spirits and ready for their challenge against the Japanese Olympic side.
Light rains are expected for most of the week and this should come as a relief for the visitors as temperatures are likely to drop.
Da Gama’s charges will hold one official training session ahead of the international friendly against the Japanese team which is set to give them a stern test having just won the 2016 COSAFA Cup against Botswana.
The match will take place on Wednesday at General Sports Stadium, Alwin in Matsumoro at around 2am SA time. Japan are eight hours ahead of South Africa.
South Africa has been drawn in Group A of the 2016 Rio Olympics alongside hosts Brazil, Iran and Denmark and are looking to ensure that they are fully prepared for the historic games.
‘Despite the long journey in which we have travelled almost 24 hours non-stop, the boys are in high spirits and we are all looking forward to this friendly match,’ said Da Gama. ‘The boys have played lots of football of late but they are all excited about meeting Japan in a friendly match and having a demanding schedule is part of being a professional player,’ added Da Gama.