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U-18 Japan National Team wins over Serbia 6-0 - U-19 International Tournament "Copa del Atlantico"

07 February 2019

U-18 Japan National Team wins over Serbia 6-0 - U-19 International Tournament

"Copa del Atlantico" 2nd Match vs U-18 Serbia National Team
Wed. 6 February 2019 Kick-off 16: 00 (Local time) Match Duration 90mins (45mins×2)
Anex Gran Canaria Stadium (Canary Islands, Spain)

U-18 Japan National Team 6-0 (3-0, 3-0) U-18 Serbia National Team

Scores
7' OG (U-18 Japan National Team)
28' MATSUMURA Yuta (U-18 Japan National Team)
35' FUJIO Shota (U-18 Japan National Team)
69' MATSUMURA Yuta (U-18 Japan National Team)
78' ODA Yutaro (U-18 Japan National Team)
89' SAKURAGAWA Soromon (U-18 Japan National Team)

Starting Line-up
GK: ITAHASHI Yosei
DF: INOUE Miki, YAMASAKI Taichi, NISHIO Ryuya, NAKAMURA Takumi
MF: MATSUHASHI Yuan, IWAMOTO Sho, MATSUMOTO Nagi, MATSUMURA Yuta
FW: FUJIO Shota, SOMENO Itsuki

Reserves
GK: MITSUI Daiki
DF: UEMATSU Kento, BABA Seiya
MF: NAKAYAMA Riku, MATSUOKA Daiki, ODA Yutaro, YAMAMOTO Rihito
FW: SAKURAGAWA Soromon

Substitutions
63' MATSUHASHI Yuan → NAKAYAMA Riku
71' YAMASAKI Taichi → BABA Seiya
71' NAKAMURA Takumi → UEMATSU Kento
71' FUJIO Shota → ODA Yutaro
83' INOUE Miki → MATSUOKA Daiki
83' IWAMOTO Sho → YAMAMOTO Rihito
83' SOMENO Itsuki → SAKURAGAWA Soromon

Match Report

On Wednesday 6 February, the U-18 Japan National Team faced the U-18 Serbia National Team in their second match of the Copa del Atlantico and won the match 6-0 to record their second consecutive victory.

Serbia has won the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015 and they consists players with great talents. Despite their 1-3 loss to the U-18 Spain National Team in their previous match, the players and staffs of the Japanese side has observed with their own eyes that the Serbian side have played out an equally matched battle against the host nation.

Japan made a drastic change in their starting eleven but continued to show great aggression to start the match, just as they did in their first match. The high pressure applied by Japan caused the Serbian side to make mistakes as seen in the third minute, when Japan forced a turnover deep in the opposing territory, allowing FUJIO Shota to deliver the final pass to MATSUHASHI Yuan, but the shot taken by Matsuhashi was saved by the goalkeeper. The opening goal came in the seventh minute, when the cross delivered by IWAMOTO Sho induced an own goal. Once taking the lead, many opportunities were created for Fujio and SOMENO Itsuki, but the two forwards came short from converting their chances. While Japan struggled to extend their lead, Serbia made an early decision to utilise their substitute and gradually picked up their pace. The Serbian players started to show great intensity to win the ball and displayed great speed to carry the ball upfront. In the 25th minute, a free kick taken by Serbia struck the goal post, coming inches from levelling the match. However, it was Japan who scored the next goal, as their patience in defence prevailed and gave them great momentum. In the 28th minute, MATSUMURA Yuta broke through the left flank before getting fouled in the box to earn a penalty kick. Matsumura converted the spot kick himself to double the lead for Japan. Seven minutes later, YAMASAKI Taichi took a quick free kick to allow Matsuhashi to break through the goal area, who dished the ball to give Fujio the opportunity to slot the ball into the net, giving Japan a 3-0 lead by halftime.

The second half saw the Serbian side attack with great aggression but following their first match which saw a similar situation, Japan made great adjustments to showcase a collective effort to defend against the physical opponents. An opportunity was created in the 52nd minute, when MATSUMOTO Nagi delivered a superb through ball, but Fujio’s shot was saved by the opposing goalkeeper. Despite taking control of the match, Japan rushed the ball too much and lost possession of the ball frequently. With the players starting to show their fatigue from the back-to-back matches and the hot weather, Japan brought in fresh legs to change the dynamics of the match. The fourth goal came in the 69th minute when Matsumura once again earned and converted a penalty kick. Midfielder ODA Yutaro followed in the 78th minute with a powerful shot taken from the right side to mark the team’s fifth goal. The late substitute, SAKURAGAWA Soromon converted a through ball delivered by NAKAYAMA Riku to further extend the lead in the 89th minute, as the match ended with a final score of 6-0.

With this win, Japan marked its second consecutive victories and got themselves set to play the U-18 Spain National Team, who won against the U-18 Canary Islands Select Team with a score of 7-1, on Friday 8, with the tournament title at stake.

Players' Comments

DF #5 NAKAMURA Takumi (F.C. Tokyo)
I am very happy to be a part of this team that is assembled towards the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2021. We faced a Serbian side who consists players with great height and strengths, but we managed to play with great courage. At this tour, I want to see how much I can cope with the foreign opponents and learn as much as possible from the matches we play. Our final opponent, the U-18 Spain National Team consists tremendous quality at the individual level, so I am looking forward to facing them. We hope to win against Spain before making our way back to Japan

MF #7 MATSUMOTO Nagi (Cerezo Osaka U-18)
I am very glad to be given this early opportunity to play and showcase my ability as a member of the U-18 Japan National Team. We managed to take control of the ball possession and create chances in the early minutes of the first half, which allowed us to score the opening goal and take the advantage of the match. Our opponents started to pick up their pace following their substitutions, but we still managed to showcase our persistency in defence and maintain our lead. We struggled to find our pace, but the penalty has allowed us to settle down and play with great composure. I was given more opportunities to touch the ball in the second half and I was able to get myself involved in our team’s counter attacks. As a team, we were able force many turnovers and create numbers of opportunities. It was great that we won this match with a clean sheet. For this tour, we have set up a team concept to “Out run, make quick transitions, and communicate.” I hope to keep that in mind and work harder than anyone on this team. We hope to showcase the strengths of the Japanese players and win the one-on-one battles against the foreign players. We will enter the final match against the U-18 Spain National Team with a challenging spirit and hope to take down the title.

MF #16 IWAMOTO Sho (Gamba Osaka Youth)
I am honoured to be called up to the U-18 Japan National Team. In today’s match, we managed to score multiple goals at a good timing, and we kept on pressing forward to add on to our lead and win the match. We gave up some close opportunities to our opponents, but still managed to defend through with great persistency. We normally don’t have the chance to face foreign teams while playing in Japan, so we hope to utilise this experience to the fullest and showcase our ability. In our final match against Spain, we will prepare to allow ourselves to put up our best performance and insist on winning the match.

FW #11 FUJIO Shota (Cerezo Osaka U-18)
I am happy to be selected into this newly assembled U-18 Japan National Team. Although I have managed to score a goal today, there were many scenes where I should have scored, so I need to improve in that aspect. During this tour, I have been thinking of ways to cope against opponents that are faster and stronger, and there were many things I have learnt over the past two matches. I hope to leave better results in our next match and contribute for the team’s victory.

FW #13 SOMENO Itsuki (Shoshi High School)
It is an honour to be a part of this new U-18 Japan National Team. I will not sit on my laurels and keep on working hard to strive for higher levels. In our match against the U-18 Serbia National Team, we managed to start off the match in good form and maintained that good form throughout the game. I personally wanted to score goals, so that’s something I need to improve on. I hope to understand the team concept and implement that into my actions on and off the pitch. I will give my best so that I can help the team with my plays and score goals. The match against the U-18 Spain National Team will be a very difficult match, but we hope to play to our full potential and showcase our best performance.

Schedule

U-19 International Tournament "Copa del Atlantico"
Tue. 5 February 2-1 1st Match vs U-18 Canary Islands Select Team
(Municipal de Maspalomas)
Wed. 6 February 6-0 2nd Match vs U-18 Serbia National Team
(Anex Gran Canaria Stadium)
Thu. 7 February TBC Training
Fri. 8 February 18:30 3rd Match vs U-18 Spain National Team
(Anex Gran Canaria Stadium)

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

U-19 International Tournament "Copa del Atlantico"

Dates: Tue. 5 - Fri. 8 February 2019
Venue: Municipal de Maspalomas, Anex Gran Canaria Stadium

Tournament Information

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