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U-19 Japan National Team finishes off 2018 with victory over Brazil

23 December 2018

U-19 Japan National Team finishes off 2018 with victory over Brazil

International Friendly Match vs U-19 Brazil National Team
Fri. 21 December 2018 Kick-off 16:00 (local time) Match duration 80mins (40mins×2)
Granja Comary, Teresopolis, Brazil

U-19 Japan National Team 2-0 (1-0, 1-0) U-19 Brazil National Team

Scores
53' KUBO Takefusa (U-19 Japan National Team)
80' MIYASHIRO Taisei (U-19 Japan National Team)

Starting Line-up
GK: TANI Kosei
DF: SUGAWARA Yukinari, HASHIOKA Daiki, KOBAYASHI Yuki, MIYAMOTO Toshiaki
MF: YAMADA Kota, SAITO Mitsuki, ITO Hiroki, SAITO Koki
FW: TAGAWA Kyosuke, KUBO Takefusa

Reserves
GK: OSAKO Keisuke
DF: SEKO Ayumu, NAKAMURA Takumi
MF: NAKAJIMA Motohiko, GOKE Yuta, HIRAKAWA Rei, KIDA Hinata, NISHIKAWA Jun
FW: MIYASHIRO Taisei, NAKAMURA Keito

Substitutions
HT MIYAMOTO Toshiaki → NAKAMURA Takumi
58' SAITO Koki → NAKAMURA Keito
60' KUBO Takefusa → NISHIKAWA Jun
60' SAITO Mitsuki → HIRAKAWA Rei
60' KOBAYASHI Yuki → SEKO Ayumu
68' TAGAWA Kyosuke → MIYASHIRO Taisei
68' SUGAWARA Yukinari → KIDA Hinata
68' YAMADA Kota → NAKAJIMA Motohiko

Match Report

On Friday 21 December, the U-19 Japan National Team played their third and final match of their Brazil tour and won against the U-19 Brazil National Team 2-0.

The U-19 Brazil National Team had been holding a training camp at Granja Comary, the training centre for the national teams of Brazil, from mid-December in preparation for the CONMEBOL Sudamericano Sub-20, which will serve as the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 qualifiers. The two teams have faced each other in September in Mexico where they drew 1-1, and both teams features many young talents who are striving to earn their spot into the final roster.

Despite the encounter being a training match, both teams entered the match with great intensity. It was the Brazil side who showcased their exquisite speed and techniques in efforts to take the initiative of the match. However, the Japanese side, who has displayed great improvements over the course of the tour, performed superbly to put up an equal fight. With the players showing quick transitions while staying vocal, Japan well-managed their risks and carried out their game plan to construct the match. Their approach helped the team gain great momentum and created multiple opportunities in the first half. In the 18th minute, TAGAWA Kyosuke penetrated the flank before sending the final pass to SAITO Koki, but his shot was blocked by the opposing defender. YAMADA Kota re-collected the loose ball and delivered a cross to Tagawa, but his volley shot was denied by the tenacious effort made by the Brazilian defender. On the other side, Brazil struck a powerful shot in the 26th minute, but the Japanese goalkeeper TANI Kosei made an excellent save to keep the score intact. Japan continued to create opportunities with their aggressive approach upfront as ITO Hiroki and SUGAWARA Yukinari combined well in the 38th minute to threaten the Brazilian goal, but fell short from capturing the goal, and the match entered halftime scoreless.

In the second half, Brazil rotated most of their players and picked up the pace in offence. But through their high level of intensity and concentration, Japan deflected off the threats created by their opponents. The deadlock was finally broken in the 53rd minute when Japan forced a turnover and delivered the final pass to KUBO Takefusa who took on the opposing goalkeeper one-on-one and converted the opportunity to give Japan the long-awaited goal. Now trailing by a goal, Brazil increased their efforts to equalise the match. In the 64th and 68th minute, Brazil came close from equalising the match from a free kick, but in both occasions, Tani came to the rescue to keep the clean sheet intact for Japan. Following some tough stretches, Japan managed to capture the goal once again, this time from a counter attack. In the 80th minute, NAKAMURA Keito broke through the right flank before sending a cross towards the centre, allowing MIYASHIRO Taisei to convert this cross to double their lead in the closing minutes of the match. With the match ending with a final score of 2-0, the U-19 Japan National Team finished off 2018 with a superb victory over the U-19 Brazil National Team.

This match concluded the Brazil tour for the U-19 Japan National Team, who will now become the U-20 Japan National Team and compete at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 in May. Despite seeing the defending champions, England failing to qualify through the UEFA European Under-19 Championship, powerhouses such as France, Portugal, and Italy are all awaiting to earn the title at the World Cup. The Sudamericano Sub 20 and African Youth Championship are still on its way to determine the qualifiers of South America and Africa. The Japanese side will learn from this Brazil tour and the recent AFC U-19 Championship Indonesia 2018 to strive for the top prize at the World Cup.

Coach and Players' Comments

KAGEYAMA Masanaga, Coach
Although we have earned our spot into the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 at the AFC U-19 Championship held in October, we lost against Saudi Arabia in an overwhelming fashion at the semi-final. It has been a month and a half since then, and we entered this Brazil tour with the intention to improve ourselves ahead of the big tournament scheduled next year. We knew that we wouldn’t stand a chance if we remained at the same level, so I asked my players to strive for stronger, faster, and more accurate plays. The players have certainly remembered the bitterness they have felt in the match against Saudi Arabia and worked very hard to improve themselves. Through the three matches played here in Brazil, the team has managed to earn a record of two wins and a draw, and the fact that we have managed to win over the Brazil National Team in our final match is a great accomplishment for us. We can now welcome the new year with the standard raised much higher and that is something we should be proud of. In the limited time we are given, we will continue to strive for higher levels so that we can challenge the world. I’d like to thank all of the clubs for allowing their players to join our team in 2018, and we hope you will continue to support us in 2019 as well.

GK #1 TANI Kosei (Gamba Osaka)
I feel like we were able to stay focused in our defence for the entire match today. We also managed to make many collective approaches to force turnovers and carry out effective build-ups to put ourselves in a favourable position. However, we also saw many aspects of the match that must improve on, so we need to address those issues and work on it both as a team and as an individual. Through the three matches we conducted during this tour, we were able to share the tasks as a team. And from now on, we must utilise the experience we have gained at this tour and the AFC U-19 Championship Indonesia 2018 to raise our standards to the world level and strive for better performances. The matches we are about to face at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 will be totally different from the friendly matches, so we must heighten ourselves to a new level in order to excel at the world stage.

DF #4 HASHIOKA Daiki (Urawa Reds)
With this Brazil tour, our activities as the U-19 Japan National Team comes to an end, and we will now become the U-20 Japan National Team, who will compete at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland this May. In our match today, everybody worked very hard and fought with great intensity to win the ball. We were able to take control of the match for quite some time and managed the risks very well. Despite capitalising on our opportunities to score goals, we also made many mistakes to give the momentum away to our opponents in the second half. We need to maintain our focus level at a high level throughout the entire match. It made us realise that if we can keep our best performance for the entire 90 minutes, we can put up an equal or greater fight against the strong teams. In order for us to earn good results at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019, we must improve ourselves at the individual level while heightening the cohesiveness as a team. As teammates, we cannot be just good friends, but rather be an inspirational figure that can demand for higher standards and heighten each other on the pitch. Once we return to our clubs, we will continue to work hard so that we can reunite with a more improved version of ourselves in our next tour.

DF #5 SUGAWARA Yukinari (Nagoya Grampus U-18)
We were given a rare opportunity to face the Brazilian National Team in Brazil, so I was looking forward for this tour and I am very honoured to be selected into the squad. We have faced many South American teams in the past, and they have always given us a new challenge, so I entered this tour with the intention to learn something new. As a result, we were able to share the tasks we picked up during the first two matches to improve ourselves in the third match against the U-19 Brazil National Team today. While the team managed to showcase solid defence, our offence has also improved over the tour. The fact that we pulled off a win over the Brazilian side who are one of the top teams of the world gives us great confidence moving forward. However, we faced many situations where we could have conceded in the second half, so we must not sit on our laurels. I strongly believe that we must get better in order to leave good results at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019. Our ultimate goal for this team has always been the FIFA U-20 World Cup, so we will continue to strive to improve ourselves both as a team and as individuals to achieve our goal.

MF #7 ITO Hiroki (Jubilo Iwata)
We have managed to earn our spot into the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019 through the tough qualifiers at Indonesia, and our current goal has now changed to winning the FIFA U-20 World Cup, but we also experienced a bitter lose as well. The fact that we were able to win over the U-19 Brazil National Team gives us great confidence ahead of the World Cup, but we also found out many of our flaws that must be addressed. How much we improve ourselves ahead of the tournament will affect the results dramatically. My club is currently in the off season, but I will continue to work hard so that I can prepare well ahead of the upcoming season.

FW #11 TAGAWA Kyosuke (Sagan Tosu)
In today’s match, we focused on how we apply the pressure upfront to force turnovers. As a result, we managed to contain the opponents from creating clear opportunities in the first half, but we also failed to convert our chances to take the lead. We gave our opponents too many opportunities from set-pieces in the second half, so we must improve ourselves as a team in that aspect. In terms of offence, it was great that we managed to score from a fast break and a counter attack. We must now return to our clubs, improve and condition ourselves ahead of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Poland 2019. Through this tour, we have learnt that we must gain the winners mentality like the South American players we have faced.

Schedule

Thu. 13 December PM Training
Sat. 15 December AM/PM Training 
Sun. 16 December AM/PM Training
International Friendly Match
Mon. 17 December 1-1 1st Match vs Goytacaz FC (Maracana Stadium)
Tue. 18 December AM Training
Wed. 19 December 2-1 2nd Match vs U-20 Clube de Regatas do Flamengo (Estadio da Gavea)
Thu. 20 December AM Training
Fri. 21 December 2-0 3rd Match vs U-19 Brazil National Team (Granja Comary)

*Local Time
*The schedule and match venue are subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.

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