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U-16 Japan National Team lose first game in International Dream Cup 2017 to competitive Netherlands

15 June 2017

U-16 Japan National Team lose first game in International Dream Cup 2017 to competitive Netherlands

International Dream Cup 2017 1st vs U-16 Netherlands National Team
14 June 2017 (Wed.) Kick-off 18:00 Playing time 90min. (45min x 2)
Yurtec Stadium Sendai (Sendai City)

U-16 Japan National Team 1-3 (1-0, 0-3) U-16 Netherlands National Team

15' KURIHARA Ibrahim Junior (U-16 Japan National Team)
72' Goal against (U-16 Netherlands National Team)
76' Goal against (U-16 Netherlands National Team)
83' Goal against (U-16 Netherlands National Team)

Starting Line-ups
FW: SAITO Koki, KURIHARA Ibrahim Junior

DF: NISHIO Ryuya, IDE Keita, SUMI Kohshiro

61' NISHIDO Hisatoshi → NISHIKAWA Jun
61' KAWAMOTO Riyo → NISHIO Ryuya
74' TANIMOTO Shunsuke → FUJIO Shota
79' SAITO Koki → ODA Yutaro
79' HASHIMOTO Shuya → SUMI Kohshiro

Match Report

Wednesday 14 June saw the start of the ‘U-16 International Dream Cup 2017 JAPAN presented by The Asahi Shimbun’ at Yurtec Stadium Sendai in Sendai city, Miyagi, and the U-16 Japan National Team lost their first match to the U-16 Netherlands national team 3-1.

Despite the fact that U-17 Netherlands failed to qualify for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 by a whisker, they have won numerous international youth championships. U-16 Netherlands were the best opponent for U-16 Japan to work out their current level.

The match kicked off in an excellent atmosphere, surrounded by more than 3000 spectators. Both teams, who were eager to win the first game, attacked aggressively from the beginning of the match. In the sixth minute, the forward KURIHARA Ibrahim Junior aimed at the goal with a header from a quick cross, while the opponent attempted a long-distance shot in the eighth minute. Then after 15 minutes, KURIHARA intercepted the opponent’s pass, and calmly slotted it into the goal, striking the opener. In the 17th minute, the forward SAITO Koki dribbled through the centre to fire a shot, only for it to go wide after hitting a Dutch defender. Japan continued to take the initiative in the game. Although the defender HASHIMOTO Shuya got through on the left repeatedly to create goal-scoring opportunities, Japan could not add any insurance.

After 40 minutes, Japan succeeded in getting through on the right with a combination play. KURIHARA, who reacted to a cross from the midfielder NISHIDO Hisatoshi, struck at the goal with a header from height, but the ball went over the bar.

In the second half, the Netherlands, who were one goal behind, fiercely attacked back. They changed their system to focus on attack, creating opportunities with low crosses from the wings. Japan, however, stayed physically strong to prevent the opponent scoring the equaliser. After 64 minutes, KURIHARA sent a through ball to the left, with which the midfielder IWAMOTO Sho took a shot. Although the opponent’s goalkeeper punched it away, the midfielder NISHIKAWA Jun, who came off the bench, reacted to a loose ball to strike at the goal. The shot just went wide, and Japan failed to find the back of the net.

Japan struggled to score another, giving away their good momentum. The opponent, on the other hand, gradually went close to the goal. In the 72nd minute, the Netherlands cut through at midfield with speed to calmly level the game. Then after 76 minutes, when Japan failed to clear a cross from the left, the opponent reacted to a loose ball and strongly struck a goal, turning the match around. Although the Netherlands continued to attack aggressively with another strong long-distance shot in the 80th minute, the goalkeeper SUZUKI Zion superbly defended the goal. Japan stayed keen to regain their rhythm. However, they let the opponent get through at left once again in the 83rd minute. SUZUKI could not punch away a sharp cross, and the opponent scored their third. Despite Japanese counter attacks afterwards, they could not create goal-scoring opportunities. After 90 minutes, KURIHARA reacted to a free kick, but the shot just went wide. Japan lost their first and important game 3-1.

Match details

Japan will meet the U-16 USA national team, who lost a close game to U-16 Guinea 2-1, at 18:00 on Friday 16 June at the same stadium.

Players' Comments

GK #1 SUZUKI Zion (Urawa Reds Junior Youth)
In the first half, we managed to pass the ball around rhythmically, creating some goal-scoring opportunities, while pressuring the opponent properly to prevent them from striking at the goal. In the second half, however, the opponent got through the sides and we struggled to keep possession, letting them press us for a while. I should have performed more calmly in our area. Conceding as many as three goals is my issue that needs to be fixed. I’m especially responsible for the third goal, as I was in haste after conceding two. I’m gutted. I realised once again through a high-level match against an excellent opponent that a goalkeeper has to stay calm under any circumstance to give the team stability. I’d like to learn from today’s mistakes, so that I can make things right in the next game.

DF #4 HASHIMOTO Shuya (Ichiritsu Funabashi High School)
I was over the moon to play for the national team for the first time. Even through just one match, I experienced something I never have before, and learned some precious things. I faced the game wanting to perform as well as possible. In the first half, I managed to dribble through, coordinating with my teammates to get through the sides, showcasing my strengths. In the second half, however, we struggled to pass the ball around when we didn’t have much stamina left. The opponent gradually started to get through our hard-working defence. Then they struck a goal with a sharp dribble. While my individual skills worked well and I am intending to perform the same, I’d like to coordinate with my teammates more. I also want to simplify our plays a little more. Stamina is my ultimate task. So I’d like to train myself back at my club. I’d like to contribute to victories for the team in the remaining two games, making the most of this excellent opportunity.

MF #6 TANIMOTO Shunsuke (Cerezo Osaka U-18)
I’m gutted that we conceded three goals in the second half and lost today’s game, especially because we struck the opener in the first half, and controlled the game well. Personally, I contributed a lot in the first half to create goal-scoring opportunities, but I couldn’t control the ball well in the second half with poorer quality of passes. I’d like to improve the quality of last passes and shots. I’d like to practice hard and get ready prior to the next match against U-16 USA, thinking only about winning.

FW #11 KURIHARA Ibrahim Junior (Mitsubishi Yowa SC Youth)
The atmosphere before the game was really good, and I believe we started today’s match well. As we had discussed putting pressure up front, it was good to score surely. However, we failed to strike goals with our numerous opportunities after that. Also, we could not find our rhythm again in attack after conceding goals. We should have refreshed ourselves to stay strong and determined to win the game after conceding a goal. We’d like to learn from today’s lessons and to play rhythmically with passes – just like we did in the first half, throughout the 90 minutes in the next match. As U-16 USA are also strong, we’d like to earn a win as a united team.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)


U-16 International Dream Cup 2017 JAPAN presented by The Asahi Shimbun
Wed. 14 June 18:00 vs U-16 Netherlands (Yurtec Stadium Sendai)
Thu. 15 June AM Training
Fri. 16 June 18:00 vs U-16 USA (Yurtec Stadium Sendai)
Sat. 17 June AM Training
Sun. 18 June 14:30 vs U-16 Guinea (Yurtec Stadium Sendai)

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

2017-6-14(Wed.), 16(Fri.) and 18(Sun.)
Yurtec Stadium Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture[All Matches Free of Admission]

Tournament Information
Live Streaming of ALL Matches available on JFA-TV (More information on live streaming)

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