U-17 Japan National Team advance to round of 16 as group leaders - FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019
03 November 2019
On Saturday 2 November, the U-17 Japan National Team faced the U-17 Senegal National Team in their third group stage match of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019. With the game winner scored by NISHIKAWA Jun (Toko Gakuen High School) in the second half, the team won the match 1-0 to clinch the round of 16 as the leader of Group D.
Following their 0-0 draw against the USA, Japan made five changes to their starting line-up, as SUZUKI Zion (Urawa Reds Youth) started in goal with the defence line of HANDA Riku (Montedio Yamagata Youth), SUZUKI Kaito (Jubilo Iwata U-18), MURAKAMI Yosuke (Omiya Ardija U18), and NAKANO Shinya (Sagan Tosu U-18). With YAMAUCHI Kakeru (Vissel Kobe U-18) and TANAKA Satoshi (Shonan Bellmare U-18) named as the central midfielders, SUMI Kohshiro (FC Tokyo U-18) and TAMURA Souki (Kashiwa Reysol U-18) were positioned in the flanks. It was NAKANO Keita (Kyoto Sanga F.C.U-18) and TOYAMA Shoji (Gamba Osaka Youth) who were named as the two strikers.
Japan struggled against the athleticism showcased by Senegal, as coach MORIYAMA Yoshiro described it as, “Speed and intensity we have never faced in Japan.” With Tanaka picking up an injury, FUJITA Joel Chima (Tokyo Verdy Youth) was introduced to the match in the 29th minute, as the midfielder later reflected, “They were catching up to our full sprints like nothing.”
Despite their struggles against the opponent’s speed, Japan still managed to showcase great collective efforts to shut down the Senegalese offence, as Murakami led the defence line to respond to the long balls. With Senegal starting to show signs of fatigue in the second half, Japan started to take control of the match.
In efforts to score the game winner, coach Moriyama sent Nishikawa into the game in the 65th minute, followed by WAKATSUKI Yamato (Kiryu Daiichi High School) in the 81st minute. The long-awaited moment came in the 83rd minute, when Fujita delivered a through ball upfront, allowing Nishikawa to break through and send the ball into the goal with his left foot.
Japan managed to keep the clean sheet and won the match 1-0. As a result, Japan ended the group stage with a record of two wins and one draw, advancing to the round of 16 as the group leader. The U-17 Japan National Team will now face the third place finisher of either Group B, E, or F on Wednesday 6 November at 16:30 (Thursday 7 at 4:30 Japan time).
Coach and Players' Comments
MORIYAMA Yoshiro, Coach
Our players played a wonderful match today. They showcased 100% of their potential and performed very well throughout the match. Senegal showcased speed and intensity we have never faced in Japan. However, we entered this match with the full intention to win and to take the group lead against such opponent. I am just amazed by how hard our players played today.
DF #3 HANDA Riku (Montedio Yamagata Youth)
Senegal showed great athleticism and it was a very difficult match for us. There were few scenes where the opponents blew past me to create close opportunities, and it made me realises that I still have lots to improve on. However, it was great that we managed to keep clean sheets in all three matches of the group stage. Today, we saw a great combination between Fujita and Nishikawa to score that game winner, and I am just glad that we were able to win this match.
DF #15 MURAKAMI Yosuke (Omiya Ardija U18)
At the beginning of the match, I was either too nervous or too worked up about our game plan, that I wasn’t able to showcase my usual performance. However, as the match progressed, I was able to display my strengths by winning the aerial battels. I knew I had the edge in the air, so I was able to play with confidence. I would like to thank everybody who has supported us to reach this world stage.
FW #10 NISHIKAWA Jun (Toko Gakuen High School)
I was fully prepared to play for this match. By the time I entered the match, our opponent already looked pretty tired. In the scene where I scored the goal, I was able to control the ball well with my first touch and keep my composure to score that goal. Through our daily training sessions, I have been working closely with Fujita, so we are able to keep our plays in sync.
|FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019|
|Sat. 26 October||AM||Training|
|Sun. 27 October||3-0||1st Group Stage Match
vs U-17 Netherlands National Team
(Estadio Klever Andrade, Vitoria)
|Mon. 28 October||AM||Training|
|Tue. 29 October||PM||Training|
|Wed. 30 October||0-0||2nd Group Stage Match
vs U-17 USA National Team
(Estadio Klever Andrade, Vitoria)
|Thu. 31 October||AM||Training|
|Fri. 1 November||PM||Training|
|Sat. 2 November||1-0||3rd Group Stage Match
vs U-17 Senegal National Team
(Estadio Klever Andrade, Vitoria)
|Sun. 3 & Mon. 4 November||TBC||Training|
|Wed. 6 November||16:30||Round of 16
vs 3rd place of Group B/E/F
(Estadio Bezerrao, Goiania)
|Sun. 10 & Mon. 11 November||16:30/20:00||Quarterfinals (Estadio Klever Andrade, Vitoria
or Estadio Olimpico, Goiania)
|Thu. 14 November||16:30/20:00||Semi-Finals (Estadio Bezerrao, Goiania)|
|Sun. 17 November||15:00
|3rd Place Match (Estadio Bezerrao, Goiania)
Final (Estadio Bezerrao, Goiania)
*JFA Technical Director SEKIZUKA Takashi will attend team from Sat. 26 October to Sun. 3 November.
*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.
FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019
Tournament Duration: Sat. 26 October - Sun. 17 November 2019
Round of 16
Thu. 7 November 2019 4:30 (Japan time)
vs 3rd place finisher of either Group B/E/F
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