U-16 Japan National Team to play quarterfinal after three consecutive wins in AFC U-16 Championship India 2016
23 September 2016
AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 Group Stage 3rd Match vs U-16 Australia National Team
2016-9-22 (Thu.) - 16:00 Playing Time: 90min. (45min.x2)
GMC stadium Bambolim (Goa, India)
U-16 Japan National Team 6-0 (1-0, 5-0) U-16 Australia National Team
4' KOZUKI Soichiro (U-16 Japan National Team)
54' MIYASHIRO Taisei (U-16 Japan National Team)
56' SEHATA Gijo (U-16 Japan National Team)
64' MATSUMOTO Nagi (U-16 Japan National Team)
82' KOZUKI Soichiro (U-16 Japan National Team)
86' TANAHASHI Akito (U-16 Japan National Team)
GK: AOKI Kokoro
DF: KATSURA Rikuto, SEKO Ayumu, KEMMOTSU Takumu, KIKUCHI Kenta
MF: TANIMOTO Shunsuke, SEHATA Gijo, MATSUMOTO Nagi, SUZUKI Toichi
FW: KOZUKI Soichiro, MIYASHIRO Taisei
GK: TANI Kosei, OUCHI Issei
DF: SAKUTA Ryutaro, SUGAWARA Yukinari, KOBAYASHI Yuki
MF: HIRAKAWA Rei, FUKUOKA Shimpei, KIDA Hinata
FW: TANAHASHI Akito, NAKAMURA Keito, KUBO Takefusa
HT SEKO Ayumu → SUGAWARA Yukinari
57' MIYASHIRO Taisei → TANAHASHI Akito
68' KIKUCHI Kenta → SAKUTA Ryutaro
"00 JAPAN", the U-16 Japan National Team, beat U-16 Australia 6-0 in the third group stage game of the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016 on Thursday 22 September. Japan got through the group stage in the top spot after three consecutive wins and will play against U-16 UAE in the quarterfinal on Sunday 25 September.
"00 JAPAN" made significant changes to the team after their first and second matches. The players, who had long been waiting for an opportunity to play, started the game. In the 4th minute, forward KOZUKI Soichiro reacted to a ball, which came off an opponents’ passing mistake, and got past a defender to calmly fire a shot, striking the opener. The team used their mobility well, passing the ball to the space behind the opponents’ defenders. Although midfielder TANIMOTO Shunsuke and forward MIYASHIRO Taisei as well as Kozuki had goal-scoring chances, each shot unfortunately went wide.
After failing to score from their opportunities, the opponents started to attack back with their effective passing utilising their physical strength. ’00 Japan’ were a little slow to react to Australian halfbacks and wingbacks, which caused the Japanese midfielders to play in the defensive line and to struggle sending the ball up front after gaining possession. The team were forced to stay in their area for a while. However, Japanese defenders performed resiliently against opponents’ fierce attacks, and the match went to the second half 1-0.
After checking their tactics once again during halftime, Japan started to initiate attacks from the beginning of the second half and build up positive momentum. After 54 minutes, midfielder SUZUKI Toichi, who received the ball on the right, nutmegged the opponent with a cross ball. Miyashiro ran towards it and added much-awaited insurance.
Then, after 56 minutes, Suzuki, who received a cross from defender KIKUCHI Kenta in the left, returned it to the centre, where midfielder SEHATA Gijo struck the team’s third goal. Japan took complete control of the game. In the 64th minute, after splitting two defenders with his skilful dribbling, midfielder MATSUMOTO Nagi fired a strong shot to score their fourth goal.
On their own end, in the 77th minute, defender SUGAWARA Yukinari defended with a strong sliding challenge, preventing the opponents from firing a shot. In the 82nd minute, despite the opponents’ promising opportunity, excellent Japanese defence kept them from scoring, including two superb saves from goalkeeper AOKI Kokoro.
Towards the end of the game, both Kozuki and TANAHASHI scored in the 82nd and 86th minutes, respectively. Japan won the match 6-0, topping group B with three consecutive wins. They managed to shut out their last three opponents. These results may become a vital ‘building block’ in preparation for the quarterfinals, where a victory will take the team to the international stage.
Japan will meet the U-16 UAE, who are sitting in second place in group A, in the quarterfinal. The next game will be an important one in which the team will play for a place in the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup in India.
* "00 JAPAN" is the nickname of the U-16 Japan National Team that consists of members who were born after 2000.
Coach and Players' Comments
MORIYAMA Yoshiro, Coach
Although we struck the opener early in the first half, we struggled to add any more insurance after that. Despite many of our goal-scoring opportunities, we couldn’t find the back of the net. We had tough moments, but managed to keep a clean sheet in the first half. Entering the second half well, we scored another goal. I think this meant a lot to us.
We made significant changes to the team after the first and second matches. The players, who hadn’t had an opportunity to be on the pitch in the past two games, performed their best for the team. There is still room to improve the accuracy of shots. However, we created many goal-scoring opportunities the way we wanted to. I’d like our attackers to keep up their performance.
MF ＃15 KOZUKI Soichiro (Kyoto Sanga F.C. U-18)
Despite the fact that we struck the opener just after kick-off, we had some tough stretches in the first half. We managed to defend well as a united team. After intercepting the ball, we started to move it well, creating numerous goal-scoring opportunities. It was brilliant that we scored six goals to win a sweeping victory.
The whole team have been motivated more than ever since the start of the tournament, and all the players, regardless of their standing in the team—whether they are starting the game or staying on the bench—have been focusing on teamwork including during training sessions. All these facts led up to earn three consecutive wins in the group stage. I’d like to prepare better than before in order to secure a place for sure in the World Cup.
DF ＃7 SUGAWARA Yukinari (Nagoya Grampus U18)
After winning two consecutive matches, I was concerned that the team might become too relaxed in the third match. However, we stayed fully focused and scored many goals, while keeping a clean sheet. This was very good. I believe we played our style of football in the past three group stage games. However, all the teams advancing to the quarterfinals will be playing for a place in the World Cup in the coming match, which, I believe, will be different and very tough. So I’d like to forget about our previous victories, so that we will start afresh and prepare well for the game.
GK ＃12 AOKI Kokoro (JFA Academy Fukushima U18)
In the first half, the opponents found their rhythm first, which meant that we mainly had to defend in our area. However, we took the initiative completely in the second half. In the past three matches, I believe we balanced well between calmly passing the ball around and accelerating our speed to attack quickly. I’d like to focus more on both the performance and quality of plays, so that we can win another match as a united team.
|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)|
*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.
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