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U-17 Japan National Team goes undefeated to take the title at JENESYS 2018 Japan-Mekong U-17 Football Exchange Tournament

09 October 2018

U-17 Japan National Team goes undefeated to take the title at JENESYS 2018 Japan-Mekong U-17 Football Exchange Tournament

JENESYS 2018 Japan-Mekong U-17 Football Exchange Tournament
Final vs U-17 Shoshi High School
Mon 8 October 2018 Kick-off 9:00 Match duration 90mins (45mins x2)
J-Village Field No.3 (Fukushima)

U-17 Japan National Team 2-1 (0-0, 2-1) U-17 Shoshi High School

47' KOBAYASHI Natsuki (U-17 Japan National Team)
57' WAKATSUKI Yamato (U-17 Japan National Team)
90' goal against (U-17 Shoshi High School)

Starting Line-up
GK: UEDA Itsuki
MF: OHORI Ryonosuke, HOKAZONO Ryuichi, HONDA Fuchi, AYUKAWA Shun


78' WAKATSUKI Yamato → WADA Aiki
78' KANO Kanato → SUMI Seiga
87' OHORI Ryonosuke → TAKADA Soya

Match Report

The U-17 Japan National Team faced the U-17 Shoshi High School at the final of the JENESYS 2018 Japan-Mekong U-17 Football Exchange Tournament. Shoshi High School is a powerhouse from the host prefecture, Fukushima, and they are widely known as the “Hope of Fukushima” for their performance to advance to the semi-finals at the 2011 All Japan High School Soccer Tournament, just after the area was struck by the Great East Japan Earthquake. The team has made their appearance in this year’s Inter High School Sports Festival and won the Tohoku Prince League title.

With the U-17 Japan National Team fighting for their pride while the U-17 Shoshi High School looking for an upset, the two teams clashed with great intensity. The match showcased great transitions, high concentration level, and tense atmosphere from both sides. However, despite the efforts made by the two teams to score the opening goal, the breath-taking bout entered halftime scoreless.

In contrast to the first half, the second half saw fireworks from the early minutes. In the 47th minute, midfielder KOBAYASHI Natsuki (Yokohama F-Marinos Youth), who was brought into the match as a substitute during half time, forced a turnover in the midfield and carry the ball up front before firing a shot that captured the goal to give the national team the lead. The goal gave momentum to the U-17 Japan National Team, as they started to find their rhythm in offence. In the 57th minute, WAKATSUKI Yamato (Kiryu Daiichi High School) broke through the goal-mouth scramble and struck a powerful shot to extend the lead. Goalkeeper UEDA Itsuki (Zweigen Kanazawa U-18) had his moment to shine in the 60th minute, when he saved the spot kick after the team had given up a penalty kick. Shoshi High School however, did managed to score back a goal in the 90th minute, but the match ended with a final score of 2-1. As a result, the U-17 Japan National Team remained undefeated throughout the competition as they took down the title.

Coach and Players' Comments

YAMAHASHI Takashi, Coach (U-17 Japan National Team)
Our fourth activity as the U-17 Japan National Team has given us a great opportunity to interact with teams and players from different countries of Asia. The experienced players showed great leadership to guide the 10 players who were newly called-up to the national team. The fact that we were able to face teams who played differently compared to the teams in Japan, such as Cambodia, Myanmar, and Vietnam, has given us a great learning experience. In the final, we faced the local team from Fukushima, Shoshi High School, which showcased great intensity. It was certainly a tough match, but at the end, we managed to grab the victory. On the third night of this tournament, we were given the opportunity to hold a joint dinner with the other teams. This tournament has given our players many great experiences both on and off the pitch. These players will now go onto strive for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2021 U-20 World Cup, and I hope they will utilise these experiences to one day make it to the top team of the national team. I would like to thank all the teams and schools who has allowed these players to join this team and everybody who was involved to make this wonderful tournament possible. Thankyou very much.

DF #3 OMORI Rio (F.C. Tokyo U-18)
With the tournament title at stake, we played a bit too passively, as the first half ended scoreless, but we all managed to play aggressively in the second half, so that was something we should be proud of. Compared to the previous matches, we couldn’t create much opportunities to take shots, but our quality in the final third has certainly gotten better over the course of the tournament. However, we still conceded a goal in the final play of the match and our build-ups could have used a little more improvement, so we will keep that in mind in our future trainings.

DF #4 KANO Kanato (JFA Academy Fukushima U18)
This tournament provided us with a rare opportunity to face foreign players, so I wanted to test my skills and find out where I stand in an international stand point. As a result, I felt that I need to be much stronger in fifty-fifty situations, so once I return to my team, I will implement what I’ve learnt here and work hard to improve myself.

FW #11 FUJIO Shota (Cerezo Osaka U-18)
We entered the match poorly and allowed our opponents to take control in many occasions, but we managed to score the opening goal and create a positive momentum. Although I couldn’t score the deciding goal, I personally feel like I did well to win the fifty-fifty balls and to get myself involved in many plays. I am glad we won the tournament.


JENESYS 2018 Japan-Mekong U-17 Football Exchange Tournament
Fri. 5 October 5-0 vs. U-17 Cambodia National Team
Sat. 6 October 3-1 vs. U-17 Myanmar National Team
Sun. 7 October 4-1 vs. U-17 Vietnam National Team
Mon. 8 October 2-1 Final vs U-17 Shoshi High School

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

JENESYS2018日メコン U-17サッカー交流大会
JENESYS 2018 Japan-Mekong U-17 Football Exchange Tournament

Tournament Dates: Fri. 5 - Mon. 8 October
Tournament Information

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