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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 September, 2003, 11:06 GMT 12:06 UK
Senegal face tough test
Fulham's Japanese midfielder Junichi Inamoto
Fulham's Inamoto will be part of a strong Japanese squad
Senegal will face a full-strength Japanese side when the two meet in an international friendly near Tokyo next month.

Japan coach Zico has called up Feyenoord midfielder Shinji Ono, who will join the rest of Japan's "golden quartet" of European-based stars for the match.

He will line up with Italy-based Serie A midfielders Hidetoshi Nakata and Shunsuke Nakamura.

Fulham's Junichi Inamoto will also take part in the match, to be played at the Niigata Stadium.

With Brazilian-born star Alessandro Santos playing on the left flank, Zico will be able to pick his strongest side since he took up the manager's job.

Senegal would be missing captain Aliou Cisse, Ferdinand Coly, Pape Sarr and Moussa Ndiaye as a result of their poor form. Midfielder Khalilou Fadiga was dropped by coach Guy Stephan due to ill-health.

Japan beat Nigeria's Super Eagles 3-0 in Tokyo last month, giving Zico his first home win in charge of the team.

But the man who scored twice in that match, German-based SV Hamburg striker Naohiro Takahara, will not feature in the Senegal game as a result of club commitments.

Zico said the match against the World Cup quarter-finalists would be a good test for his side.

"Stronger opponents will be better for our preparation.

"Senegal played excellent games in the World Cup and could have finished better.

"It is also a good tune-up for them, as they are targeting the African Nations Cup," added Zico.

Senegal have played Japan twice before, drawing 2-2 in May 1987 and winning 2-0 in October 2001.

Senegal drop key players
27 Aug 03  |  African

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