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Japan Beach Soccer National Team comes from behind three times to win over England 4-3 in the final period

09 July 2018

Japan Beach Soccer National Team comes from behind three times to win over England 4-3 in the final period

On Sunday 8 July, the Japan Beach Soccer National Team held an international friendly match against the England Beach Soccer National Team in Akashi City Okura Beach Park, Hyogo.

Prior to the kick-off, a moment of silence was held for those who lost their lives in the unprecedented rainfall that struck the western districts of Japan. Slight rain started to fall at the match site just before the kick-off at 2 pm.

With 922 fans and supporters showing up for the match, Japan entered the match with strong intentions to score the opening goal, however, it was the England side who scored the first goal, just like they have done in the training match held the day before. In the fourth minute, England’s Aaron CLARKE (#10) scored a lobbing shot over the head of the goalkeeper from a freekick.

After conceding the opening goal, the Japanese side were seen controlling the ball in the opponent’s territory. In the 11th minute, GOTO Takasuke (#11) and MOREIRA Ozu (#10) both struck a shot from back to back opportunities from a freekick, but in both occasions the English goalkeeper made the save. However, Japan did manage to score the equaliser right before the end of the first period when Moreira fired a direct freekick to level the match.

The match did not stay levelled for long, as Clarke scored his second goal in the 14th minute. With England retaking the lead, they came close to extending their lead in the 20th minute, when Clarke launched a pin-point shot with his left foot, but Japan’s goalkeeper KAWAI Yusuke (#12) came to the rescue to block the shot. Gaining momentum from this play, Japan once gain tied the match as MATSUDA Kosuke (#4) delivered a pass to OKUYAMA Masanori (#6) who broke through and calmly converted the opportunity.

Entering the third period with a score of 2-2, it was the England side who took the initiative. In the 25th minute, Scott LAWSON (#6) shook the net from a direct freekick to give England their third lead of the match. However, Japan showed their pride as the host of the match. in the 29th minute, Goto capitalised on a freekick to erase England’s advantage. The eventful match had one more twist left as OBA Takaaki (#7) lobbed the ball to Moreira who made a running effort to volley the ball into the net in the 33rd minute, giving Japan its first lead of the match. The host team went onto control the ball for the remainder of the match to earn a come from behind victory with a final score of 4-3.

Coaches' and Players' Comments

RAMOS Ruy, Coach (Japan Beach Soccer National Team)
We entered the match with a strong emphasis on the result, so I am glad we won the match. I am hoping that the supporters who came to watch this match had an entertaining time. It reminded me the significance of the fans’ cheers. However, I do believe that we could have displayed a better performance today. Although we managed to showcase many bicycle shots and volley shots, we couldn’t show much variations of plays that convey the joy of playing beach soccer. Following last month’s Portugal tour, we found many tasks we must work on. In order for us to go through a generation change, we need to bring in new players. All that depends on our future actions.

FP #7 OBA Takaaki (Tokyo Verdy BS)
We had many opportunities during the first and second period, but we couldn’t capitalise on those situations. In that sense, we made it hard on ourselves. I must be able to convert those chances. (Regarding the final assist) Ozu and I have been playing in the same club, so I knew he was going to be there. We played our combinations as we always do. Even though we saw new players joining the team, we managed to communicate well as a team and spent a valuable time together. The Asian qualifiers in March is our next major goal. The team is striving towards the same goal, and I feel that the we are maturing as a team.

FP #10 MOREIRA Ozu (Tokyo Verdy BS)
I feel like we should have won the match a lot more easily. We gave up too many opportunities to our opponents and allowed Aaron Clarke to score goals. It could be said for yesterday’s training match as well, but we need to find ways to enter the match in a better shape. I am glad we earned a positive result, but we still need to improve both as a team and as an individual. This was our fourth training camp since Coach Ramos returned to the team. With younger players joining the team, many players have yet to understand what the coach wants to do. Once those players fully understand the strategical aspects, we can get a lot better as a team.

Terry BOWES, Coach/Player (England Beach Soccer National Team)
Japan is one of the best teams in the World and they are regular customers at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. They have great techniques and are capable of moving the ball very well. The team consists world class players as well. Facing a team at a higher level, the match was a very tough one, but we have enjoyed ourselves at the match and it was an honour to play Japan. We managed to display a close match against Japan in yesterday’s match as well, so I feel like our beach soccer has improved a lot over the years. It was disappointing to lose the match today, but I am satisfied with our overall performance.

Schedule

International Friendly Match vs England Beach Soccer National Team
Sat. 7 July 2-1 Training match vs England Beach Soccer National Team
(Okura Beach Park , Hyogo)
*1st International Friendly Match was cancelled
Sun. 8 July 4-3 2nd Match vs England Beach Soccer National Team
(Okura Beach Park , Hyogo)

*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.

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