Japan Beach Soccer National Team reclaims Asian title at AFC Beach Soccer Championship Thailand 2019
18 March 2019
On Sunday 17 March, the Japan Beach Soccer National Team squared off against the UAE Beach Soccer National Team at the AFC Beach Soccer Championship Thailand 2019 Final. With the match tied after regulation time and overtime, the winner was determined by penalty shootouts, where Japan prevailed to earn their first Asian Championship title in eight years.
The match kicked-off at 7 p.m. with a temperature of 29 degrees Celsius. MATSUDA Kosuke returned to the bench of the Japanese side after picking up an injury in the quarterfinals.
Seven minutes into the first period, YAMAUCHI Shusei initiated an attack to assist KOMAKI Masayuki’s opening goal. A close attempt was made soon after by MOREIRA Ozu, but his shot was blocked by the opposing goalkeeper. In efforts to level the match, UAE utilised their goalkeeper to initiate their attacks, but led by TERUKINA Shingo, Japan defended well to keep a clean sheet in the first period.
The second period was filled with action, starting with OBA Takaaki’s attempt at goal, but his shot failed to capture the net. It was Moreira who scored the second goal for Japan, when his long-range shot took a favourable hop in front of the opposing goalkeeper. Just as Japan was starting to pick up their pace, UAE rallied back. The UAE players started to take shots aggressively and despite the saving efforts made by Terukina, UAE captured their first goal from a side attack. Few moments later, a shot taken by the UAE goalkeeper struck the crossbar of the Japanese goal, and the deflection was converted to equalise the match.
The final period started with the match tied at two goals apiece. While Japan collected the ball to their pivot OKUYAMA Masanori to seek for their chances, the UAE goalkeeper took numbers of shots to threaten the Japanese goal. Both teams crated close opportunities that could have decided the match, but the match entered overtime with the score remaining at 2-2.
Under an intense atmosphere, the overtime started off with Moreira taking a shot at goal. Japan made simple attempts by feeding the ball to their pivot but failed to break the deadlock in the three minutes of play. With the match entering penalty shootouts, Japan brought in GINOZA Tomoya to defend the goal. While Moreira and Yamauchi calmly converted their spot kicks, UAE’s second kicker missed the target to give Japan the golden opportunity. The third spot taker, Oba struck his shot into the net to give Japan the Asian title.
The Japan Beach Soccer National Team will now enter the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in November. Team captain Moreira scored nine goals during the tournament to be crowned as the top scorer as well as the tournament MVP.
Coach and Players' Comments
RAMOS Ruy, Coach
It means a lot for us to win this title while qualifying for the World Cup. I think this title will give us an edge in future competitions in Asia, and certainly give us confidence ahead of the World Cup. I would like to see multiple Asian teams reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup.
GK #12 GINOZA Tomoya (Veertien Mie BS)
Ahead of the penalty shootouts, Coach MAKINO told me to get ready. I was fully prepared, so I was able to enter the shootouts with composure. Our only goal was to become the Asian Champions. All players fought hard for the team and we have certainly earned the title as a team. I am grateful to be a part of such wonderful team. The support from the crowd has also helped us a lot, so we are thankful for their presence.
FP #5 TABATA Teruki (Veertien Mie BS)
Our strong intention to fight until the end has led us to this result. Even in my long career with the national team, this team showed one of the strongest bonds. Starting from our training camp, I was feeling an intense sensation that “This is the Japan National Team,” which was something I haven’t felt in a long time. I wanted to stay competitive against the young players, while thinking I probably don’t have much more chances left in me, so I was fully committed with this team. I really wanted to give Coach Ramos this title, so I am happy that we managed to achieve that.
FP #8 KOMAKI Masayuki (Veertien Mie BS)
I wasn’t able to contribute to the team until this point, so I am glad I was able to score the opening goal at the final. (Yamauchi) Shusei delivered a perfect ball, so I just had to tap it in. It felt like the momentum shifted towards us after the second goal, but it turned out to be a very tough match, so we are just glad we managed to pull off the win as a team. I honestly wanted to score another goal in regulation time to win the title.
FP #10 MOREIRA Ozu (Tokyo Verdy BS)
I have been talking with Coach Ramos regarding many things, and I knew this was our moment to rise as champions. After the match ended in a 2-2 draw and there was so much pressure at the penalty shootouts. Since getting naturalized as a Japanese citizen, I am grateful to be wearing the Japanese flag and playing for the country. I feel so fortunate to be winning this title. Unlike other countries, the Japanese players train while holding a job. I think each and every player on this team are heroes. I personally was aiming to win the top scorer award and the MVP. I have trained hard everyday for it. But more than anything, I wanted the team to win the title. I believe that this title can lead the team to a new level.
|AFC Beach Soccer Championship Thailand 2019|
|Fri. 8 March||8-1||1st Group Stage Match vs Kuwait Beach Soccer National Team (@Main Arena)|
|Sat. 9 March||TBC||Training|
|Sun. 10 March||7-1||2nd Group Stage Match vs Qatar Beach Soccer National Team (@Main Arena)|
|Mon. 11 March||TBC||Training|
|Tue. 12 March||6-2||3rd Group Stage Match vs Bahrain Beach Soccer National Team (@Main Arena)|
|Wed. 13 March||TBC||Training|
|Thu. 14 March||3-2||Quarterfinals vs Iran Beach Soccer National Team
|Fri. 15 March||6-0||Semi-Finals vs Palestine Beach Soccer National Team
|Sat. 16 March||TBC||Training|
|Sun. 17 March||2-2
||Final vs UAE Beach Soccer National Team
*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.
- National Teams 2019/03/16 Japan Beach Soccer National Team shuts out Palestine to earn ticket into the World Cup at AFC Beach Soccer Championship Thailand 2019
- National Teams 2019/03/15 Japan Beach Soccer National Team beats their nemesis Iran, move on to Semi-finals at AFC Beach Soccer Championship Thailand 2019
- National Teams 2019/03/13 Japan Beach Soccer National Team advances through group stage in 1st place with convincing win over Bahrain at AFC Beach Soccer Championship Thailand 2019
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