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U-16 Japan National Team prepare for big game in AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 for place in the World Cup

25 September 2016

U-16 Japan National Team prepare for big game in AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 for place in the World Cup

Friday 23 September

‘00 Japan’, the U-16 Japan National Team, played against U-16 Australia the day before, finishing all three group stage games of the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 with three victories. The defenders have kept a clean sheet throughout the past three games, while scoring 21 goals in total. The team has put on well-balanced performances to advance to the knockout stage.

Just like the day after their first and second game, the players who had been on the pitch in the match, focused on recovering, while the rest of the players practiced separately. Under a downpour, the players had to hold a training session on a ground with several puddles. However, as coach MORIYAMA Yoshiro inspired the players at the beginning of training, ‘let’s do everything we can today and tomorrow to prepare ourselves, so that we won’t regret in the quarterfinal’, all of them kept their concentration during the entire practice session.

Saturday 24 September

There is only one day left for the quarterfinal of the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 against U-16 UAE, where Japan will play for a place in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.

There was a mixed atmosphere around the team – nerves and enthusiasm prior to the big match. The team held a practice session in the late afternoon. After the game against U-16 Australia in a changing room, captain FUKUOKA Shimpei (Kyoto Sanga F.C. U-18) told his team: ‘let’s keep playing together as long as possible’. All the players showed an understanding of their roles during the session, practicing hard with a strong spirit to achieve their goal.

Both the coach of Japan and the U-16 UAE appeared at a press conference to express their aims and enthusiasm for the coming match. 

Players' Comments

MF #6  KIDA Hinata (Cerezo Osaka U-18)
Although we achieved three sweeping victories in the group stage, we did have a difficult time in each match. Having said that, the defenders performed solidly, while the attackers capitalised on their scoring chances, which were ideal. To advance to our dream stage, we’d like to bring our positive momentum into tomorrow’s game and play as a united team to win it. Then, we will try to become the top team in Asia.

FW #13  NAKAMURA Keito (Mitsubishi Yowa SC Youth)
It was great that we won three sweeping victories. However, I expect for sure that tomorrow’s game will be much tougher than the ones in the group stage. So we’d like to work together and play as a united team. My strength is to dribble up from the sides to create scoring opportunities. I’d like to play aggressively and contribute to the team’s victory.

DF #19  KIKUCHI Kenta (JFA Academy Fukushima U18)
I hadn’t played a full 90 minutes in any of three group stage games. In the limited time that were given, I believe I was able to contribute to offence from attacking aggressively from the sides. I expect that tomorrow’s opponents will defend solidly around the centre, thinking of our offence. So, I intend to overlap a lot from sides. Although I think it’s going to be a tough match, I’m determined to win and book a place in the World Cup.


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 6-0 vs  U-16 Australia (Goa/GMCStadium)
Fri. 23 September 10:30-12:30 Training (Nagoa Village Panchayat Football Ground)
Sat. 24 September 16:30-18:00 Training (Tilak Maidan)
Sun. 25 September 20:00 Quater-Finals vs U-16 UAE (Goa/GMCStadium)
Mon. 26 September 15:30-17:00 Training (Nagoa Village Panchayat Football Ground)
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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