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U-16 Japan National Team win two consecutive group stage games to advance to the final tournament of AFC U-16 Championship India 2016

20 September 2016

U-16 Japan National Team win two consecutive group stage games to advance to the final tournament of AFC U-16 Championship India 2016

AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 Group Stage 2nd Match vs U-16 Kyrgyz Republic National Team
2016-9-19 (Mon.) - 16:00 Playing Time: 90min. (45mins.x2)
GMC stadium Bambolim (Goa, India)

U-16 Japan National Team 8-0 (3-0,  5-0) U-16 Kyrgyz Republic National Team

34' TANAHASHI Akito (U-16 Japan National Team)
42' KUBO Takefusa (U-16 Japan National Team)
43' NAKAMURA Keito (U-16 Japan National Team)
52' NAKAMURA Keito (U-16 Japan National Team)
54' TANAHASHI Akito (U-16 Japan National Team)
56' SUZUKI Toichi (PSO) (U-16 Japan National Team)
80' TANAHASHI Akito (PSO) (U-16 Japan National Team)
90+2' KUBO Takefusa (U-16 Japan National Team)

GK: TANI Kosei
MF: KIDA Hinata, FUKUOKA Shimpei, SUZUKI Toichi

GK: AOKI Kokoro, OUCHI Issei

57' FUKUOKA Shimpei → KATSURA Rikuto
69' SEKO Ayumu → KIKUCHI Kenta

Match Report

The second group stage match of the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 was between two teams with positive momentum from winning their first game: U-16 Japan and U-16 Kyrgyz Republic.

‘00 Japan’ struggled against the opponents’ intense pressure and attacks with long-distance balls towards the space behind the defensive line. Japan could not get the ball up front and allowed the opponents to counter attack from passing mistakes. Although Kyrgyz Republic created several promising goal-scoring opportunities, goalkeeper TANI Kosei kept the defenders focused, not allowing the opponents to score their first goal.

After 34 minutes, TANAHASHI Akito, who did not have an opportunity to play in the first game, intercepted the ball on the left and blasted it into the goal from a difficult angle, striking the vital opener. ‘00 Japan’ started to pass the ball around more effectively and really stretched the opponents. Japan dominated the match thereafter – the players passed the ball rhythmically and received it unmarked, dribbled more openly, and ran freely. 

In the 42nd minute, forward KUBO Takefusa calmly slotted the ball into the net from a scramble in front of goal. Then, after 43 minutes, forward NAKAMURA Keito, who received a pass from Tanahashi, scored decisively to add more insurance. The game went into the second half at 3-0.

In the second half, Japan continued to attack and overwhelm the opponents, who started to show tiredness, just as they had in the first match. In the 52nd minute, Nakamura received the ball from Kubo and dribbled up to strike the team’s fourth goal. After 54 minutes, Tanahashi, who reacted to a throw-in, turned himself superbly to send the ball into the back of the net. Then, in the 56th minute, midfielder SUZUKI Toichi earned a penalty kick and scored it himself, stretching their lead to six goals in the process.  

Japan remained focused throughout the game, not letting the opponents get any chance to attack back. After 80 minutes, Tanahashi scored a hat trick by striking a goal from a penalty kick. In the second minute of injury time, Kubo connected with Hirakawa and scored his second goal today. The team once more won a sweeping victory.

Since U-16 Vietnam won against U-16 Australia 3-2, Japan have already secured the top spot in the group to advance to the next stage with one game remaining.

Japan will meet the U-16 Australia National Team on Thursday 22 September. 

* "00 JAPAN" is the nickname of the U-16 Japan National Team that consists of members who were born after 2000.

Coach and Players' Comments

MORIYAMA Yoshiro, Coach
We struggled for the first 30 minutes against physically strong opponents, who pressured us from up front. However, the players stayed resilient. Then, we struck the opener, which had an impact to the game. I believe scoring our first goal at that moment meant a lot. As we got through the group stage, I’d like to maintain this good momentum, while letting the players, who had been on the pitch for a long time in the past two games, get some rest. 

GK #1 TANI Kosei (Gamba Osaka Youth)
Although we did not start today’s game well, the defenders did not allow the opponents to score even when they controlled the match. This is certainly a positive takeaway for the coming matches. As we kept a clean sheet in two consecutive games, we, defenders, would like to coordinate our plays and continue this until we win the championship. I’ll do what I can do in each game, playing united as a team. 

MF #8 SUZUKI Toichi (Cerezo Osaka U-18)
We played awkwardly at the beginning of the match, struggling for a while. However, the defenders performed well and we found our rhythm after striking the opener. Since I didn’t have an opportunity to play against U-16 Vietnam, I was pleased to start today’s game and score a goal. I’ll stay highly motivated whether I’m on the pitch or on the bench, contributing to the team. Supporters from Japan came to today’s game, which gave us lots of strength. I’ll play my best, so that I can get good results for our supporters in Japan as well. 

FW #14 TANAHASHI Akito (Yokohama F・Marinos Youth)
We couldn’t find our rhythm at the beginning of the game, but I was able to steal the ball and strike the opener. The team built up momentum after that, which was good. I’m simply over the moon that I scored a hat trick in this match. However, I could have struck more goals, so I won’t be satisfied with today’s performance. I will look for more goals in the coming games and contribute to the team’s victory. Since we succeeded in advancing to the next stage, we’d like to book a place in the World Cup first and then aim to become the top team in Asia.


AFC U-16 Championship India 2016
Thu. 15 September PM Training
Fri. 16 September 7-0 vs  U-16 Vietnam (Goa/GMC Stadium)
Sat. 17 September PM Training
Sun. 18 September PM Training
Mon. 19 September 8-0 vs  U-16 Kyrgyz Republic (Goa/GMC Stadium)
Tue. 20 September AM Training
Wed. 21 September PM Training
Thu. 22 September 16:00 vs  U-16 Australia (Goa/GMCStadium)
Fri. 23 September AM Training (TBC)
Sat. 24 September PM Training (TBC)
Sun. 25 September TBC Quater-Finals (TBC)
Mon. 26 September PM Training (TBC)
Tue. 27 September PM Training (TBC)
Wed. 28 September PM Training (TBC)
Thu. 29 September TBC Semi-Finals (TBC)
Fri. 30 September AM Training (TBC)
Sat. 1 October PM Training (TBC)
Sun. 2 October 18:00 Final (Goa/Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium)

*Local Time
*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.
*If India, the hosting country of 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, advances to the semifinals, the playoff matches will be held on 29 September and 2 October deciding the fifth place among the four losing teams in the quarterfinals.

AFC U-16 Championship India 2016

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