【Match Report】Japan Futsal National Team defeat host nation Thailand at the NFDF Futsal Championship Pattaya Thailand 2023
04 March 2023
NFDF Futsal Championship Pattaya Thailand 2023
Fri. 3 March 2023, 18:00 (local time)
Match duration 40mins (20ｘ2 Playing-time)
Eastern National Sports Training Center (Pattaya, Thailand)
Japan Futsal National Team 4-1 (2-0, 2-1) Thailand Futsal National Team
7' KANAZAWA Sora
13' SHIMIZU Kazuya
25' MIZUTANI Soma
31' NAKAMURA Mitsuru
34' Goal Against
GK: KUROMOTO Guilherme
FP: MIZUTANI Soma, OLIVEIRA Arthur, HIRATA Neto Antonio Massanori, HENMI Katsutoshi Rafael
GK: TABUCHI Hiroshi
FP: ISHIDA Kentaro, YAMADA Kaito, KANAZAWA Sora, TSUTSUMI Yuta, SHIMIZU Kazuya, HARADA Kokoro, MORI Gensuke, NAKAMURA Mitsuru
On Friday 3 March, the Japan Futsal National Team played their second group stage match of the NFDF Futsal Championship Pattaya Thailand 2023, where they defeated the host nation Thailand 4-1 to secure the top spot in their group.
Thailand has become into a force to be reckoned with in Asia in recent years, despite finishing fourth in the AFC Futsal Asian Cup™ Kuwait 2022 after falling to Iran in the semi-finals last October. Having qualified for the semi-finals the day before, the results of the other groups meant that the winner of this match would face Saudi Arabia in the semi-finals, while the loser would face Iran, who finished second in their group. Ahead of the match, Head Coach KOGURE Kenichiro gave a pep-talk to his players, saying, “Although we have already qualified for the semi-finals, we want to showcase a strong performance ahead of the knockout stage. Let’s win this match and finish the group stage in first place.”
Japan started the same line-up from the day before, as goalkeeper KUROMOTO Guilherme delivered quick feeds to setup chances for HIRATA Neto Antonio Massanori in the early minutes. The opening goal came in the seventh minute, when KANAZAWA Sora won the ball in the opposing half and struck a well-placed shot that found the back of the net. With momentum on their side, Japan doubled their lead in the 13th minute, when SHIMIZU Kazuya responded to a long feed delivered by ISHIDA Kentaro and struck a shot with his first touch which ricocheted off the post and into the net.
Leading by two goals, Japan continued to create chances in the second period, including the shot taken by TSUTSUMI Yuta, which struck the crossbar. In the 25th minute, MIZUTANI Soma, who received the ball in the right side, delivered a spectacular lob-shot to make it 3-0. With their backs against the wall, Thailand started to rally back by applying more pressure upfront. Their aggression almost came to fruition in the 30th minute, when they induced a foul from TABUCHI Hiroshi, who guarded the Japanese goal in the second period, but failed to convert the spot kick. Conversely, Japan capitalised on a free kick just a minute later, when NAKAMURA Mitsuru superbly redirected the pass of OLIVEIRA Arthur to make it 4-0. In efforts to score a goal, Thailand deployed their powerplay in the closing minutes, which led to a goal scored in the 34th minute, but their rally ended there, as Japan managed to hold onto their lead to win the match 4-1.
As a result, the Japan Futsal National Team finished the group in first place and are set to play Saudi Arabia in the semi-finals on Sunday 5 March.
Coach and Players' Comments
KOGURE Kenichiro, Head Coach (Japan Futsal National Team)
The players displayed a fantastic performance in an away game against Thailand. We were able to see improvements from the first match and are in great shape for the semi-final match against Saudi Arabia. We appreciate all the support we received at the arena, and we thank you all for your continued support.
FP #3 MIZUTANI Soma (Nagoya Oceans)
This was our second match in this Thailand tour. With it being an away match against Thailand, we were expecting a difficult match. Unlike the Asian Cup, we were not given much time to prepare ourselves for this tournament, so we were a little worried about the team’s communication and tactics, but we were able to obtain this victory thanks to the positive attitude of everyone. There are still a lot of things we can fix as a team and as individuals, so we want to continue to push ourselves.
FP #7 KANAZAWA Sora (Tachikawa Athletic FC)
I am glad that we were able to finish the group stage with two consecutive victories. We entered this match determined to demonstrate our dominance over Thailand. I am really happy that I was able to score the opening goal from a play where I won the ball in the attacking third, which was something I consciously made efforts in this match. We will continue to work hard and prepare ourselves for the semi-finals.
FP #10 HENMI Katsutoshi Rafael (Real Betis/Spain)
The Japan Futsal National Team have rejuvenated under the new regime, and it means a lot to me to play for this team, so I am extremely happy with today’s result. We are ready for the semi-finals and with the help of our fans and supporters, we will fight to the very end.
FP #11 SHIMIZU Kazuya (Fugador Sumida)
We were able to defeat Thailand 4-1 to advance through the group stage in first place. It was great to see our side make the necessary adjustments from the first match, which allowed us to score multiple goals in this match. We will now face Saudi Arabia, who we have lost in the Asian Cup last year. We will give our all to win this time, so please continue to support us.
NFDF Futsal Championship Pattaya Thailand 2023
Tournament Date: Wed. 1 - Tue. 7 March 2023
Venue: Eastern National Sports Training Center (Pattaya, Thailand)
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