- Canada 1 (Hoilett 89'), Japan 4 (Tanaka 2’, 49’; Davies OG 40', Nakamura 42’)
- Post-John Herdman era begins with heavy loss to Asian giants
- Midfielders Mathieu Choinière and Harry Paton earn their 1st caps
The Canadian men’s team began life without John Herdman in embarrassing fashion on Friday by suffering a 4-1 loss to Japan in an international friendly at Niigata's Denka Big Swan Stadium.
The Reds looked completely lost in their first match under interim coach Mauro Biello, who took over from Herdman after he stepped down in the summer to take over as head coach of Toronto FC. Biello had previously served as an assistant under Herdman with the men's team since 2018.
Japan is No. 19 in the current FIFA rankings, 25 spots above Canada, and the gap was glaringly obvious in Niigata. The Japanese outworked and completely overran the Canadians in midfield, forcing the visitors onto their heels with their up-tempo game and quick ball movement. Alphonso Davies had a quiet night for Canada, forwards Cyle Larin and Jonathan David didn’t offer much from open play, and the three-man defence looked suspect throughout the 90 minutes. Japan outshot Canada 19-6 (8-3 in shots on target).