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HOME > National Teams > NEWS > U-18 Japan National Team draws with Vietnam to earn group lead at the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 Qualification

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U-18 Japan National Team draws with Vietnam to earn group lead at the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 Qualification

11 November 2019

U-18 Japan National Team draws with Vietnam to earn group lead at the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 Qualification

AFC U-19 Championship 2020 Qualification vs U-18 Vietnam National Team
Sun. 10 November 2019 19:00 (Local time) Match Duration 90mins (45minsx2)
Thong Nhat Stadium (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

U-18 Japan National Team 0-0 (0-0, 0-0) U-18 Vietnam National Team

Starting Line-up
GK: KOKUBO Leobrian
DF: NAKAMURA Takumi, NISHIO Ryuya, HAYASHIDA Kaito, KATO Hijiri
MF: ISHIURA Taiga, MATSUMOTO Nagi, SHIBATA Sosuke, AYUKAWA Shun
FW: SAKURAGAWA Soromon, SOMENO Itsuki

Reserves
GK: OBATA Yuma, YAMADA Taiki
DF: MIHARA Shuma, KIMURA Seiji, YAMASAKI Taichi, BANGNAGANDE Kashif
MF: IWAMOTO Sho, KAWAMOTO Riyo, TAKEDA Hidetoshi, KAWASAKI Sota
FW: OMORI Shingo, HARUYAMA Misaki

Substitutions
HT SHIBATA Sosuke → TAKEDA Hidetoshi
66分 SOMENO Itsuki → HARUYAMA Misaki
81分 ISHIURA Taiga → OMORI Shingo

Match Report

On Sunday 10 November, the U-18 Japan National Team played their third match in Group J of the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 Qualification, where the team drew 0-0 against the U-18 Vietnam National Team. With this result, Japan finished the qualification round in first place, earning their spot into the AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020, which will serve as the qualifiers for the U-20 World Cup.

With the two undefeated teams facing head to head, the highly anticipated match attracted over 3,000 fans to the stadium. The match kicked off under a completely away atmosphere for Japan, but the squad showcased great aggression from the start. An early chance was created in the third minute, when KATO Hijiri carried the ball upfront before releasing the ball to AYUKAWA Shun, who delivered a cross to SOMENO Itsuki, but the header struck by Someno missed the target. While Japan continued to seek for their opportunities by moving the ball around, Vietnam did well to block off the goal area and denied the Japanese players from creating major threats. In the 30th minute, Vietnam came close to taking the lead, when they broke through the right side from a counterattack and struck a powerful shot. Japanese goalkeeper, KOKUBO Leobrian, made a superb save to keep the score intact, as both sides displayed an intense battle to end the first half scoreless.

In efforts to change the dynamics of the match, TAKEDA Hidetoshi was brought into the game in the second half. With his presence in the midfield, the team started to supply more through balls down the line and initiated more attacks from the sides. In the 56th minute, Kato broke through the left flank, before sending a cross towards the centre, allowing SAKURAGAWA Soromon to strike a header, but this attempt failed to capture the goal. While Japan continued to apply pressure upfront, Sakuragawa was ejected from the match in the75th minute, after making an illegal contact with an opposing player. With the team playing a man short, Japan almost gave up a goal in the 78th minute, when Vietnam created a close opportunity from a free kick, but the team got away without conceding a goal. After both sides failed to convert their opportunities, the match ended in a scoreless draw.

Although the 0-0 tie was not the result they were looking for, the U-18 Japan National Team managed to secure the top spot in Group J, clinching their spot into the AFC U-19 Championship Uzbekistan 2020, where Korea Republic and Iran await. The team is now scheduled to travel to Chile next month where they will be joined by players from the U-17 category, who has recently suffered a bitter experience at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019. Together, they will unite as a team and strive towards the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2021

Coach and Players' Comments

KAGEYAMA Masanaga, Coach
The players have worked extremely hard in each training session and constructed a very positive atmosphere which led us to this result, so I am very thankful for all of their efforts. Despite playing under a very hot and humid climate, the players showed their toughness and ran hard until the very end. The team faced the host nation in the final match, where our spot into the AFC U-19 Championship was at stake. The stadium was packed with opposing fans and opponents were highly motivated. With one of our players getting ejected, we were close to losing our spot into the main tournament. In terms of game management, I must say that our immaturity and our lack of experience were exposed in this match. I hope the players will learn from this match and implement this experience to heighten their standards from their daily trainings. They must not forget that the team will be welcoming players from the U-17 category, who has fought through the recent FIFA U-17 World Cup, so the competition within the team will intensify. In order to achieve great results at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2021, we will now prepare ourselves ahead of the AFC U-19 Championship 2020. We are grateful for all the people who has supported us throughout this tournament. We are also thankful to the Vietnam Football Federation for their warm hospitality.

GK #1 KOKUBO Leobrian (SL Benfica)
Although we conceded many opportunities, and saw our player getting ejected, I am just glad that we were able to keep a clean sheet and win the group lead. The environment surrounding us was very different here in Vietnam, but we were able to make the necessary adjustments to prepare ourselves for each match. I am proud of the fact we were able to keep a clean sheet in all three matches. Ahead of the AFC U-19 Championship 2020, I will continue to work hard at my club to become a better player.

MF #5 MATSUMOTO Nagi (Cerezo Osaka U-18)
We struggled to find our rhythm in the early minutes, which made the entire match difficult for us. Although we started to show improvements in the second half, an unfortunate accident occurred during the half. However, we remained committed to keep the clean sheet and kept our focus until the final whistle. This match has really taught us the difficulties of an away game and it gave us a great experience. With the younger players being added to this mix, we will see more competition within the team ahead of the AFC U-19 Championship 2020. I will not waste a single day ahead of the championship, so that I can earn my spot into the final roster.

FW #9 SOMENO Itsuki (Shoshi High School)
We were overwhelmed by the atmosphere created by Vietnam’s home crowd. As a personal note, I wasn’t able to take as many shots as I wanted and couldn’t create chances for my team. The competition in Asia was very unique and it presented us with many difficulties, but this experience has allowed us to learn many new things. I hope to utilise this experience to become a better player and continue to work hard to get selected into the national team.

FW #11 SAKURAGAWA Soromon (Jef United Ichihara Chiba U-18)
The stadium was packed with opposing fans and the match was played under an intense away atmosphere for us. This was my first time playing under such atmosphere. Although I was able to create opportunities, I wasn’t able to convert those chances, which made this match even tougher for us. Getting ejected from a match is not something I am accustomed to, and I am deeply disappointed and regretting my acts to cause that ejection in such huge match. Despite starting the tour with three goals and three assists in our first match, this final draw is a very disappointing result. However, we should stay positive about the fact we earned the group lead to advance through to the AFC U-19 Championship 2020. I will continue to work hard each day so that we can earn dominating results at these matches. Ahead of the AFC U-19 Championship 2020, I will heighten my standards and prepare myself so that I can get selected into the Japan National Team.

Schedule

AFC U-19 Championship 2020 Qualification Group J
Wed. 6 November 10-0 vs U-18 Guam National Team (Thong Nhat Stadium)
Thu. 7 November AM Training
Fri. 8 November 9-0 vs U-18 Mongolia National Team (Thong Nhat Stadium)
Sat. 9 November AM Training
Sun. 10 November 0-0 vs U-18 Vietnam National Team (Thong Nhat Stadium)

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

AFC U-19 Championship 2020 Qualification

Tournament Duration: Wed. 6 - Sun. 10 November 2019
Tournament Venue: Thong Nhat Stadium, Vietnam

Tournament Information

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