【Match Report】 U-17 Japan National Team score four goals en route to victory over Vietnam - AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023
21 June 2023
On Tuesday 20 June, the U-17 Japan National Team faced the U-17 Vietnam National Team at Rajamangala National Stadium, in their second group stage match of the AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023.
The match-up between two teams, both of whom had drawn their first match and desperately needed three points, tuned into an intense battle.
As Head Coach MORIYAMA Yoshiro said, “It's our second game in four days, so we're going to need the help of every player,” the team made five changes to their starting line-up from the first match. GOTO Wataru (FC Tokyo U-18) was named as the starting goalkeeper with a defence line formed by SHIBATA Shotaro (Kawasaki Frontale U-18), HONDA Kotaro (Shonan Bellmare U-18), TSUCHIYA Kaito (Kawasaki Frontale U-18), and KOSUGI Keita (Shonan Bellmare U-18). NAKAJIMA Yotaro (Sanfrecce Hiroshima Youth) and YAMAMOTO Joi (Tokyo Verdy Youth) were paired in the centre while SATO Ryunosuke (FC Tokyo U-18) and SUGIURA Shungo (Nagoya Grampus U-18) were placed in the flanks. It was MOCHIZUKI Kohei (Yokohama F. Marinos Youth) and MICHIWAKI Yutaka (Roasso Kumamoto) who started as the two strikers up top.
The first goal was scored by Japan in the second minute when Michiwaki headed home a cross from Sato to give his side an early lead.
Despite taking the initiative of the match, Japan struggled to create additional opportunities in the first half, as Shibata later reflected, “We weren’t able to build our attacks from the defence line.” After observing how Vietnam made effective adjustments against the Japanese offence, coach Moriyama added, “We started to play passively and made the match difficult on ourselves.”
However, after getting the players back on the same page at half-time and making some tactical adjustments, Japan stepped up their attack in the second half.
In the 59th minute, Mochizuki converted a cross sent by Shibata to double the lead before Sato capitalised on Nakajima’s through ball to make it 3-0 in the 66th minute.
With Mochizuki scoring his second goal in the 74th minute, Japan earned their much needed victory in convincing fashion.
“The players who were given their first start made a huge difference,” said coach Moriyama, as the Japanese coach continued to comment, “We were able to give all of our field players playing time in these two matches. We are not totally satisfied with our performance, but we are definitely making progress.”
With a spot to the knockout stage on the line, the U-17 Japan National Team will now face the U-17 India National Team on Friday 23 June.
Coach and Players' Comments
MORIYAMA Yoshiro, Head Coach
Despite our poor performance, particularly in the first half, the fact that the players who performed well in practice also performed well in the game gives us great hope for the upcoming matches. It is great that we were able to give all of our field players playing time in these two matches, especially considering how the matches are being played every three days. The players who were given their first start made a huge difference in today’s match and we feel that we are definitely making progress.
DF #17 SHIBATA Shotaro (Kawasaki Frontale U-18)
I was very disappointed when I was left out of the starting line-up in the first match, so I was determined to earn results in this one. When I assisted the goal, I was able to free myself up and I delivered the pass hoping that someone will get to the end of it. However, I felt that my defensive game could use a lot of work.
MF #8 MOCHIZUKI Kohei (Yokohama F. Marinos Youth)
I made a lot of mistakes, and I am certainly not happy with the way I played in the first half. However, I made conscious efforts to keep my plays simple and make more runs into spaces, which allowed me to gradually adapt to the pace of the game. It also helped that I was actively communicating with my teammates.
MF #10 SATO Ryunosuke (FC Tokyo U-18)
When I assisted the goal, I knew there was an opening when Shibata had the ball, so I was able to utilise that space to receive the ball and keep my composure to take on a defender. I also saw Michiwaki at the far side, so I knew exactly where I had to send the ball to. My goal came from a perfect pass from Nakajima, so I just needed to make good contact.
AFC U17 Asian Cup™ Thailand 2023
Tournament Dates: Thu. 15 June - Sun. 2 July 2023
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