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HOME > National Teams > NEWS > U-23 Japan National Team prove themselves with three straight wins


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U-23 Japan National Team prove themselves with three straight wins

20 January 2016

U-23 Japan National Team prove themselves with three straight wins

U-23 Japan National Team had the third match of the group stage against Saudi Arabia at Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium at 4:30 p.m. (10:30 p.m. Japan time) on 19 January at the AFC U-23 Championship Qatar 2016 (Rio de Janeiro Olympics Asian Qualifiers Final Round).

Just as Japan coach TEGURAMORI Makoto indicated after the second match, he replaced 10 starters from the last match against Thailand. Teguramori shifted his system from a 4-4-2 to a 4-3-3.

The lineup included four tournament debutants, but Japan got into the game composedly. The first chance came in the 17th minute when NARA Tatsuki headed IDEGUCHI Yosuke's left corner kick. Teguramori, who was watching the game from the technical area, could not help but responded by leaning forward, but Nara's shot went inches wide right.

Japan created another big chance in the 27th minute. After running for Ideguchi's left corner and beat a defender, the unmarked UEDA Naomichi launched a header. But this shot was well saved by the goalkeeper.

Even so, the side who found the net first were Japan. In the 31st minute, OHSHIMA Ryota dodged past a defender and fired a shot with his right foot. His 40-meter long-range shot stabbed into upper left corner of the net. Japan maintained the 1-0 lead before entering halftime.

The second half also saw Japan take the initiative early on. An additional goal was scored in the 53rd minute. MINAMINO dribbled inside from the right flank and passed the ball horizontally. Ideguchi, rushing to the edge of the box, fired a first-time shot with his inside of foot into right side of the net.

In the 57th minute, Japan gave up a penalty kick and allowed Saudi Arabia to close the gap to one goal. The players were, however, composed while playing.

Teguramori sent in ASANO Takuma in place for anchor MISAO Kento in the 66th minute. The system was also changed to 4-2-2. Asano's speed brought depth to Japanese defence and gave stress to the opponents' defence. Japan were not able to get the third goal but did not allow any opening before grabbing the win in the end.

During the three group stage contests, 22 players appeared on the pitch, which prove Japan's total quality. Ahead of the knockout stage (quarterfinals) on 22nd, the team start practising at 10:30 a.m. (4:30 p.m. Japan time).

Match details

Coach and Players' Comments

TEGURAMORI Makoto, Coach
We were able to keep it compact and control the play against Saudi Arabia as we did in the Thailand match. We lost our nerve when we gave up a penalty. That's something we need to think about. But our mentality is getting better not to concede a goal after playing three group stage matches.

You've got to keep it in mind that winning probability increases in the knockout stage if you don't give up a goal. And accordingly, today we played the way not to make haste to win. This team can always find an issue to improve ourselves while keeping winning and are the group that can confront that issue. The clean sheets we were keeping since the first qualifying round were stopped, but I take it as a learning to win the championship.

MF #8  OHSHIMA Ryota (Kawasaki Frontale)
At the moment when I scored, I had a picture on my mind to try to shoot right after beating the opponent and there was space. So I was relaxed when shooting. It's big we won the three matches in the group stage, and our coach said, "Saudi Arabia have some similarity to Iran who we face in the quarterfinal." I'm glad to win the match keeping such a picture in mind. Not everything is going to go well in the next match as well. Even so, we need to play more practically and get together as a team.

MF #18  MINAMINO Takumi (Salzburg/Austria)
Talking about the play that led to the second goal, I had another option to take a shot myself, but I saw the opponents trying to block my shot. So I passed it to Ideguchi. I wanted some individual result, so I'm glad that I was able to do my job by recording an assist. The second match was better than the first match, the third match was better than the second match, and that says we including myself have come to fit as a team. This win is leading to the next match. From now on, it's going to be tougher, and we will battle as a team.

MF #19  IDEGUCHI Yosuke (Gamba Osaka)
The biggest thing is I could give some result. Playing on the three-defensive-midfielder system was the first time for me with this team, so I especially took care of defence. I was disappointed I wasn't able to play in the last two matches, so I wanted to take the frustration to the match. When I scored, I could stay calm and took a shot. That was really great. When Minamino cut into the centre, I thought he would shoot, but I was determined to fire a first-time shot without controlling the ball if he passed it to me. I have a lot more things to improve like I struggled to win the ball on defence, but I will work hard to commit to my team in the knockout stage.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)



AFC U-23 Championship Qatar 2016
Wed. 13 January 1-0 Group Stage 1st Match vs U-23 DPR Korea
(@Grand Hamad Stadium)
Thu. 14 January AM Training
Fri. 15 January PM Training
Sat. 16 January 4-0 Group Stage 2nd Match vs U-23 Thailand
(@Grand Hamad Stadium)
Sun. 17 January AM Training
Mon. 18 January 17:45 Official training (@Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium)
Tue. 19 January 2-1 Group Stage 3rd Match vs U-23 Saudi Arabia
(@Suhaim Bin Hamad Stadium)
Wed. 20 January AM Training
Thu. 21 January TBC Official training (@tbd)
Fri. 22 January 16:30
Knock-out stage  Quarter-Finals vs U-23 Iran
(@Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium)
Sat. 23 January AM Training
Sun. 24 January PM Training
Mon. 25 January PM Training
Tue. 26 January 16:30
Knock-out stage  Semi-Finals
(@Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium)
Wed. 27 January AM Training
Thu. 28 January PM Training
Fri. 29 January 17:45 Knock-out stage  3rd/4th-Place Playoff
(@Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium)
Sat. 30 January 17:45 Knock-out stage  Final
(@Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium)

*Local Time

AFC U-23 Championship Qatar 2016 (Rio de Janeiro Olympics Asian Qualifiers Final)

Fri. 22 January - 22:30 (Japan Time)
Qatar/Abdullah Bin Khalifa Stadium
U-23 Japan National Team vs U-23 Iran National Team
More information

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