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U-16 Japan National Team opens CFA Jiangyin International Youth Football Tournament with a victory

17 May 2018

U-16 Japan National Team opens CFA Jiangyin International Youth Football Tournament with a victory

CFA International Youth Football Tournament Jiangyin 2018
1st Match vs U-17 Iran National Team

Wed. 16 May Kick-off 16:00 Playing Time 90min. (45min×2)
Jiangyin Sports Centre Stadium (China PR)

U-16 Japan National Team 1-0 (0-0, 1-0) U-17 Iran National Team

Scores
72' YAMANE Riku (U-16 Japan National Team)

Starting Line-ups
GK: SASAKI Masato
DF: SUMI Kohshiro, HANDA Riku, SAKO Maaya, IBI Shunto
MF: YAMAUCHI Kakeru, NARUOKA Hikaru, AOSHIMA Kenta, MITO Shunsuke
FW: NAKANO Keita, NISHIKAWA Jun

Reserves
GK: NOZAWA Taishi Brandon
DF: SUZUKI Kaito, IWASAKI Mana, NAGATA Yuri, NAKANO Shinya
MF: YOKOKAWA Asahi, SUTOH Naoki, YAMANE Riku
FW: SAEKI Shinnosuke, TOYAMA Shoji, SHIMOKAWA Haruki

Substitutions
HT AOSHIMA Kenta → TOYAMA Shoji
54' NARUOKA Hikaru → YAMANE Riku
63' YAMAUCHI Kakeru → YOKOKAWA Asahi
63' IBI Shunto → NAKANO Shinya
81' MITO Shunsuke → SAEKI Shinnosuke
81' SUMI Kohshiro → SUZUKI Kaito

Match Report

The U-16 Japan National Team arrived in China on Sunday 13 May to compete in the CFA International Youth Football Tournament Jiangyin 2018. The team held five training sessions to prepare ahead of the competition including the official training session at the match venue held the day before of the match. On Wednesday 16 May, Japan bested the U-17 Iran National Team 1-0 to open the tournament with a victory.

Before sending his players off to the pitch, Coach MORIYAMA stressed the importance of how they enter a match or a tournament. Facing an Iranian side who were anticipating to counter attack, Japan controlled the match by keeping possession of the ball. The Japanese centre halves initiated the build-ups, as they managed to connect good passes to their attacking third, but lacked quality in their final touches to score the opener. Conversely, the Iranian side threatened the Japanese goal by sending passes behind the defensive line. Just before the end of the first half, Japanese midfielder MITO Shunsuke delivered a pass towards NISHIKAWA Jun, who launched a shot with his left foot. But his shot was denied by a fine save made by the opposing goalkeeper, ending the half scoreless.

The match remained scoreless deep into the second half, but the deadlock was broken in the 72nd minute, when Nishikawa earned a free kick in the attacking half. Substitute midfielder YAMANE Riku attempted a direct shot from the spot kick, which the Iranian goalkeeper was able to get a hand on the ball, but the shot carried enough momentum to find the net. Following their opening goal, Japan continued to attack strongly, but their efforts came short from extending the lead. In the 86th minute, forward NAKANO Keita delivered a shot from a free kick earned by his fellow forward TOYAMA Shoji, but his attempt was denied by the goal post. Iran came close to leveling the match as they broke through to create an one-on-one situation but the Japanese goalkeeper SASAKI Masato made a superb save to keep the one goal lead intact. With Japan keeping a clean sheet, the match ended with a final score of 1-0.

Japan earned a very valuable clean sheet victory, but the match exposed many flaws as well. Japan will now face the U-17 Kyrgyz Republic National Team on Friday 18 May.

Players' Comments

DF #3 HANDA Riku (Montedio Yamagata Youth)
We managed to prepare well and enter the match with a good atmosphere today. Our opponents stayed deep in their half to play defence which allowed us to keep possession of the ball, but we struggled to finish with a shot. We made many mistakes in the first half, which gave opportunities for our opponents to counter attack, but our goalkeeper and defence played well to keep a clean sheet. We managed to score from a free kick, but we were unorganised in the closing minutes of the game, so we must be able to close out the match better in our second match.

MF #10 YAMANE Riku (Yokohama F・Marinos Junior Youth)
Although it was our first match of the tournament, we kept a good mood ahead of the match. I personally felt the need to be able to adapt to pitch conditions like today, and make good decisions within the given circumstances. We kept good communication among ourselves on the pitch, but we can still deepen our combinations by playing more matches together. We would like to win the remaining two matches and win the title so that we can improve ourselves both as a team and as an individual.

MF #14 NISHIKAWA Jun (Toko-Gakuen High School)
I am very happy to be able to win the first match. We entered the match in a great fashion, and kept our possession in the opposing end. But we couldn’t execute the final pass or shot to score goals, so we must improve our quality in the final third. It is about the little things, but those little things can decide the match in the future, so we must not take it for granted. We managed to score in a timely fashion and win the match today, but we must not forget what we lacked today and prepare well ahead of the second match.

Schedule

CFA International Youth Football Tournament Jiangyin 2018
Wed. 16 May 1-0 1st Match vs U-17 Iran National Team
(Jiangyin Sports Centre Stadium)
Thu. 17 May PM Training
Fri. 18 May 19:35 2nd Match vs U-17 Kyrgyz Republic National Team
(Jiangyin Sports Centre Stadium)
Sat. 19 May TBC Training
Sun. 20 May 19:35 3rd Match vs U-17 China PR National Team
(Jiangyin Sports Centre Stadium)

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

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