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Japan Futsal National Team earns first victory of 2019 in an International Friendly Match against Thailand Futsal National Team

02 February 2019

Japan Futsal National Team earns first victory of 2019 in an International Friendly Match against Thailand Futsal National Team

International Friendly Match
Japan Futsal National Team vs Thailand Futsal National Team

Fri. 1 February Kick-off 19:00 (Local time) Match Duration 40mins (20mins x2)
Bangkok Arena (Bangkok, Thailand)

Japan Futsal National Team 2-1 (1-0, 1-1) Thailand Futsal National Team

Scores
13' MORIOKA Kaoru (Japan Futsal National Team)
39' goal against (Thailand Futsal National Team)
40' KATO Minami (Japan Futsal National Team)

Starting Line-up
GK: PIRES Higor
FP: MINAMOTO Akira, YOSHIKAWA Tomoki, NIBUYA Kazuhiro, SHIMIZU Kazuya

Reserves
GK: HIYAMA Shogo
FP: SHIRAKATA Hidekazu, TAMURA Ryutaro, HENMI Katsutoshi Rafael, TAKITA Manabu, MORIOKA Kaoru, HASHIMOTO Masaya, HIRATA Neto Antonio Masanori, KATO Minami, MIYAZAKI Gaku, ITO Keita

Match Report

On Friday 1 February, the Japan Futsal National Team faced the ASEAN Champions, the Thailand Futsal National Team, in an international friendly match held at Bangkok Arena, Thailand. The highly anticipated match attracted over 3,000 people on a Friday evening in Bangkok.

Coach Bruno GARCIA sent off his players by telling them, “We have prepared ourselves well to earn the victory. Let’s overwhelm our opponents with our great concentration level and enjoy the match.”

It was the Japanese side who took the initiative in the early minutes, but their attacks came short from capturing the opening goal. Thailand on the other hand, kept their aggressive pressure on to anticipate for their opportunity to score. While the match saw an evenly balanced battle for a while, it was Japan who struck the opener. After KATO Minami managed to keep position of the ball deep in the opponent’s territory, the final pass was delivered to MORIOKA Kaoru, who scored the first goal for Japan in the 13th minute. In the closing seconds of the first half, Japan gave up their sixth team foul to allow Thailand to take a shot from the second PK spot. However, PIRES Higor made a superb effort to block off the goal as the shot went wide of the target, sending the match into halftime with a 1-0 lead for Japan.

With the huge crowd supporting their side, Thailand came out attacking aggressively in the second half. The Japanese side did well to showcase their collective effort to defend the goal, while they sought for opportunities to extend their lead from counter attacks. With just four minutes left on the clock, Thailand initiated their power-play to level the match. Despite the efforts made by the Japanese players to keep their lead intact, Thailand successfully captured the equaliser in the 38th minute. With the voltage of the arena heating up, the local crowd chanted for another goal from the Thailand side. However, it was Japan’s turn to initiate their powerplay in efforts to retake the lead. With MINAMOTO Akira taking over the goalkeeper position, the Japanese side attacked the opposing end with five players. In the final minute, the goal scored by Kato gave Japan the 2-1 lead, as they finished their first match of 2019 with a victory.

The Japan Futsal National Team will conduct a training session on Saturday 2 February before facing the Thailand Futsal National Team once again on Sunday 3.

Coach and Players' Comments

Bruno GARCIA, Coach
I feel like we were able to showcase an entertaining match both strategically and emotionally. We were able to take the upper hand in the first half but struggled to further extend the lead. With the Thailand side showing more intensity in their attack, we conceded the equaliser from their power-play, but we managed to show our resilience and retake the lead in the closing minutes. We will analyse this match and utilise the information to prepare ourselves well ahead of the second match.

GK #1 PIRES Higor (Pescadola Machida)
I am glad that we were able to win the match 2-1 against a strong team like Thailand. Despite conceding a goal from a power-play, it was great that we managed to score our second goal in the closing seconds of the match. Ahead of the AFC qualifiers scheduled at the year end, I feel like this was a great challenge for us. We will continue to give our best to show a better performance at the next match.

FP #9 MORIOKA Kaoru (Pescadola Machida)
With this match being the Japan Futsal National Team’s first match of 2019, we entered the match with the intention to start off the year in the right way. We played with a strong eagerness to capture the win, but the enthusiastic crowd created a complete away atmosphere and made the match that much difficult for us. Winning a match under such atmosphere gives us great confidence moving forward. Even when we conceded the equaliser, we managed to keep our composure and showcase what we have been working on up to this match. However, we are not totally satisfied with our performance, so we will do our best to heighten the quality of our plays and showcase a dominating performance in the second match.

FP #13 KATO Minami (Shriker Osaka)
This was our first match against the Thailand Futsal National Team at this tour, but we knew heading into the match that they consist players with great techniques and speed. Although we managed to take many shots, we struggled to convert them. I personally focused on ways to break down the opponents by combining with Morioka. As a result, we managed to score goals from our combinations, but we still saw many occasions where our plays didn’t link up, so we hope to do a better job in the second match. When we conceded from a power-play, we did well to score back from our own power-play, and that’s something we should be proud of. I will continue to give my best to help the team win the second match.

Schedule

Tue. 29 January PM Training
Wed. 30 January AM/PM Training
Thu. 31 January AM/PM Training
Fri. 1 February AM Training
2-1 International Friendly Match
vs Thailand Futsal National Team (Bangkok Arena)
Sat. 2 February AM/PM Training
Sun. 3 February AM Training
16:00 International Friendly Match
vs Thailand Futsal National Team (Bangkok Arena)

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

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