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HOME > National Teams > U-15 2019 > NEWS > U-15 Japan National Team finishes as Runners-up after losing close match to Mexico at the 16th Delle Nazioni Tournament


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U-15 Japan National Team finishes as Runners-up after losing close match to Mexico at the 16th Delle Nazioni Tournament

05 May 2019

U-15 Japan National Team finishes as Runners-up after losing close match to Mexico at the 16th Delle Nazioni Tournament

The 16th Delle Nazioni Tournament vs U-15 Mexico National Team
Sat. 4 May 2019 18:00 (Local time) Match duration 70mins (35mins x2)
Gradisca d'Isonzo, Italy

U-15 Japan National Team 1-2 (0-2, 1-0) U-15 Mexico National Team

7' goal against (U-15 Mexico National Team)
19' goal against (U-15 Mexico National Team)
45' SAKAI Shunya (U-15 Japan National Team)

Starting Line-up
FW: SUZUKI Hiroto, SAITO Yuzuki

GK: SAGA Tessho
DF: FUJITA Takahiro, TAKAI Kota
MF: YAMAZAKI Taishin, ITO Yamato, ASAOKA Hiyu, SATO Mikuto
FW: NAITO Yamato, OSAKA Sina

43' SAITO Yuzuki → OSAKA Sina
52' NARAHARA Yoshiki → ITO Yamato
69' KITANO Sota → SATO Mikuto

Match Report

On Saturday 4 May, the U-15 Japan National Team played their title match against the U-15 Mexico National Team at the 16th Delle Nazioni Tournament. After the U-16 Japan Women's National Team won their final on the day before, the team entered the match with the intention to follow the same feat. The team was sent off to the pitch with the words of Coach MORIYAMA Yoshiro, “Let’s enjoy the moment. Don’t be scared of make mistakes and stay aggressive to win the ball.”

Despite the rainy weather, the pitch condition was not affected as much, and both teams started off the match with great intensity. It was Mexico who took the initiative of the match, as Japan struggled to connect their passes against the aggressive pressure applied by their opponents. The opening goal was scored by the Mexican side, when they converted a loose ball following a goalmouth scramble in the seventh minute. The opening goal made Japan rush their plays and loose possession of the ball frequently. Mexico took advantage of this situation to score their second goal in the 19th minute, as they forced a turnover deep in the Japanese territory and struck a shot from mid-range to make it 2-0. Although they started to regain their composure, Japan entered halftime down by two goals.

Following a halftime pep-talk, the second half saw a rejuvenated Japanese side, as they showcased better ball movements and more promising attacks from the flanks. In the 45th minute, Japan penetrated the right side from a counter attack, allowing SAKAI Shunya to strike a left-footed shot that pierced the net. With momentum on their side, Japan applied more pressure in offence to level the match, but their efforts fell short from finding the equaliser, as the match ended with a final score of 1-2.

In contrast to the Mexican side who celebrated the feat with great joy, it was a bitter moment for the U-15 Japan National Team. The team will now seek to bounce back from this experience to build their team ahead of this summer’s preliminary round of the AFC U-16 Championship 2020 Qualifiers.

Players' Comments

GK #12 MIYAMOTO Rui (Nagoya Grampus U-18)
The team managed to fight through the semi-finals with great unity and vibe. Although we were able to enter the final in great form, we conceded the opening goal from my mistake. At this final, I wasn’t able to showcase my saving ability, which was supposed to be my strong point. Once I return to my team, I will take back everything I’ve learned in this tournament and try to improve myself so that I can get called back to the national team again. I will continue to thank everyone who are supporting us and give my best efforts on the pitch.

DF #4 KIRIYAMA Ryuto (Urawa Red Diamonds Junior Youth)
At the semi-finals, we were able to enter the match with the intention to improve ourselves from the group stage matches and earn a 1-0 victory. That is why we believed that we can showcase our best performance at the final, but we struggled to deal against the pressure and intensity shown by our opponents. As a result, we failed to connect our passes and conceded two consecutive goals, which has put us in a tough spot. However, it was great to see our team fighting hard until the very end, as everyone was involved to help out the team. I personally felt like I needed to get myself more prepared to make quicker transitions and get myself more involved in our attacks. This tournament has really allowed me to realise what I need to work on. I am very thankful for being allowed to play for the Japan National Team. I will take back what I’ve learned at this tournament and implement them to my activities with my club team in Japan.

MF #7 OSAKO Rui (Kamimura Gakuen Junior High School)
I am honoured to be a part of this travel squad to Italy. It was great to see the team showing quick transitions and strong battles to win the ball in the three group stage matches. However, we struggled to keep up with the pressure applied by the opponents in our semi-final match against Austria. We saw many scenes where we were forced to clear the ball and allowed our opponents to take shots unmarked. Following that semi-final match, we entered the final against Mexico with the intention to keep the ball moving, but we committed too many mistakes to give up two goals in the early minutes of the match. Although we managed to find our rhythm and create more opportunities in the second half, our efforts fell short from equalising the match. This tour has given me the opportunity to learn what aspects of my game were effective and what were lacking. I will feed off of this bitter experience and work hard to improve myself once I return to my club.


The 16th Delle Nazioni Tournament
Sat. 27 April AM Training
Sun. 28 April 5-3 1st Group Stage Match vs U-15 Turkey National Team
(Latisana, Italy)
Mon. 29 April 2-0 2nd Group Stage Match vs U-15 Russia National Team
(Cesarolo, Italy)
Tue. 30 April 4-0 3rd Group Stage Match vs U-15 UAE National Team
(Cesarolo, Italy)
Wed. 1 May TBC Training
Thu. 2 May 1-0 Semi-Final vs U-15 Austria National Team
(Lignano, Italy)
Fri. 3 May TBC Training
Sat. 4 May 1-2 Final vs U-15 Mexico National Team
(Gradisca d'Isonzo, Italy)
Sun. 5 May TBC TBC

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

The 16th Delle Nazioni Tournament

Tournament Dates: Sat. 27 April - Sat. 4 May 2019

Tournament Information

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