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Japan’s U-21 seek one more win, spot in next round at 17th Asian Games 2014 in Incheon (20 Sep)

21 September 2014

Japan’s U-21 seek one more win, spot in next round at 17th Asian Games 2014 in Incheon (20 Sep)

With a spot in the knock-out stage at stake in tomorrow’s match against Nepal, the Japan National U-21 Team had the final practice before the match on Saturday 20 in Ansan.

At the team meeting before dinner, they shared the scouting report on the Nepal team.

Japan, placed second in the Group D with three points, can move on to the next round with a win. That will be the second consecutive such advancement after the last Asian Games (in Guangzhou in 2010). There is also a possibility of them finishing the group stage on the top of the standings if Japan win the next match and, depending on the goal differential, Kuwait also wins in the match against current leaders Iraq (6 points) which will be played with the same time schedule.
For the young under-21 Japan team, playing as many matches as possible in the next round and battling for medals will be a great asset for their future, which is the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro two years later.
The third match of the group stage against the Nepal National U-23 Team will be kicked off at 2 pm on Sunday 21. NHK General TV is scheduled to live-broadcast the match.


TEGURAMORI Makoto, Head Coach
In this group, it doesn’t matter if you play (in the match) or not. It’s important for the players who are not playing to have the same mindset and get prepared at all times.
I tell them that we should grow as players, as we move ahead in this tournament, so it’s important for players not starting the match to be as competitive as they try to convince me to play them.
Speaking of all the opportunities available in both the group stage and the knock-out stage, it’s significant to be able to play seven matches of this calibre. It’s important for all of us to have experience like this.

For our players, no matter whether they are the starters or not, they have to share the same goal. That is the right mentality to have and that will lead to our growth. Also there should be a healthy competition. Speaking of this tournament alone, the disappointment we experienced in the last match and what we want to do from here, we have to show all those things in the next match, the last one of the group stage. And how much we can get us going now will be carried over to the knock –out stage.

I don’t know if I should say bold things after losing to Iraq, but it’s true that the match really opened our eyes. So all we have to do now is to get good enough results to justify me saying that loss was good for us.

(On the Nepal team)
They look very tough and not being afraid of physical contacts. They are very quick in terms of the first few meters of dashing. We have to be ready for that, have good estimation of the next play and be flexible.

YAMANAKA Ryosuke (JEF United Chiba)
(On life at the athlete village)
It’s been almost a week and I haven’t had any problem. At first, there were some things I wasn’t used to, but it’s natural to have something like that in a foreign country. If we don’t get used to it, we can’t go to the Olympic qualifiers. So I take this experience very positively.

(On the match against Nepal tomorrow)
We must win no matter what happens, so we have to be hungry. We have to play collectively as a team and we will achieve our goal to get out of the group stage.

(On his individual plays)
I always try to record assists, but I haven’t made one in this tournament yet. So I will keep trying and hopefully I will get a few in the next match.

YAJIMA Shinya (Urawa Reds)
(On life at the athletes’ village)
It’s very different from Japan, but I am getting used to it. I want that adjustment to have a good influence on my play.

(On the game against Iraq)
We have lost a few straight matches against them and we have to give them credit about their matchmaking ability. But we can do that as well if we put our effort into it, so it was good that the match made us realise that.

(On his own plays)
It was good that I got involved in the scoring play, but I missed the good opportunity in the second half. I have to admit that I still have a lot more work to do. I will make sure not to miss that kind of opportunity in the next match.

(On the match against Nepal)
I think a match you have to win often gets difficult to play. Once somebody starts going lazy, we start losing our cohesiveness. Everyone has to do his own job for us to win and I will make sure to do it as well.

U-21 Japan National Team Match Schedule

Sun. 9/14 vs Kuwait 4-1 Incheon Football Stadium
Wed. 9/17 vs Iraq 1-3 Goyang Stadium
Sun. 9/21 vs Nepal 14:00 Goyang Stadium
Thur. 9/25 Fri. 9/26 the Round of 16 17:00/16:00 Hwaseong Sports Complex Main Stadium/
 Incheon Football Stadium
Sun. 9/28 Quarterfinal 17:00 Munhak Stadium/Goyang Stadium
Thur. 9/30 Semifinal 17:00/20:00 Incheon Football Stadium/Munhak Stadium
Thur. 10/2 Final 20:00 Munhak Stadium

17th Asian Games (2014/Incheon)Groups

A Group Korea Republic、Malaysia、Soudi Arabia、Laos
B Group Uzbekistan、HonKong、Bangladesh、Afghanistan
C Group Oman、Palestine、 Singapore、Tajikistan
D Group Japan、Kuwait、Iraq、Nepal
E Group Thailand、Maldives、Timor-Leste 、Indonesia
F Group Korea DPR、China PR、Pakistan
G Group UAE、India、Jordan
H Group Iran、Vietnam、Kyrgyzstan
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