U-22 Japan cruise past Costa Rica, showing enhanced players in international friendly
02 July 2015
The U-22 Japan National Team, who aims to compete at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games, had the International Friendly Match against U-22 Costa Rica National Team at Yurtec Stadium Sendai on 1 July. They successfully beat U-22 Costa Rica National Team 2-0 thanks to the goals scored by midfielder NOTSUDA Gakuto and forward KANAMORI Takeshi.
The U-22 Japan typically plays in a 4-3-2-1 or 4-3-3 formation, playing the team’s captain midfielder ENDO Wataru as an ”anchor”, but this time a 4-2-2-2 formation was selected. In this system, both Endo and midfielder IDEGUCHI Yosuke, an 18 years old freshman, play as central mid-fielders. This successfully promoted Endo’s offensive force during the match.
In the beginning, Japan had difficulties in finding good timing to steal the ball due to Costa Rica’s quick pass work, but they quickly got used to it and took the control with their systematic defense starting from the front line, and with quick long balls after stealing possession.
On the 6th minute, Endo made a sharp pass to the front and forward ASANO Takuya jumped to take a shot. The ball only hit the post, but that shot changed the air and Japan took full control of the game.
On the 10th minute, Costa Rica’s forward Mayron GEORGE got a scoring chance from a counter attack, but Japan’s goalkeeper KUSHIBIKI Masatoshi calmly blocked the shot. After this, Japan didn’t allow them to make any other counter attacks and maintained a consistent defense. The U-22 Costa Rica’s advantage is their player’s fitness.
Japan played against this strength with the their strong passion and the systematic defense including all players of the team.
They made scoring chances repeatedly after that and on the 38th minute, they could finally scored the first goal. Center mid-fielder Endo made a sharp pass into the depth of the opponent’s area and defender KAMEKAWA Masashi controlled the ball then carried on moving it using his skillful dribble with speed changes. Then he made a cross from deep near the goal line, and Notsuda jumped on to the ball with his right foot to make a final touch to the goal.
In the 2nd half, Japan head coach TEGURAMORI Makoto frequently substituted players and changed formation to “4-3-3” on the 70th minute, and to “3-4-3” on the 88th minute. The players adjusted and responded to these changes very well and Japan played consistently throughout the 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, on the 77th minute, substitute Kanamori stole the ball in the centre circle and carried the ball in their area, then he made a strong shot which successfully hit the back of the net. That goal made the score 2-0 and decided the result of the match.
The U-22 Japan National team aim for Rio 2016 Asian Qualifiers Final Round /AFC U-23 Championship 2016 Qualifiers scheduled in Qatar in January 2016. All the players are expected to train up in the respective club teams by that time.
Head Coaches and Players' Comments
TEGURAMORI Makoto, Head Coach (U-22 Japan National Team)
I told the players that this was not a Friendly Match but the serious one. I also told them that we had to show our strong passion as Japanese squad players. I appreciate the players for understanding what I said and expressed their passion in the match.
The players have improved themselves in several aspects such as using all of themselves in both defense & offense, offense prioritization and variation, pressing-defense from front line, blocking, and flexibility even with a change of formation.
Today, we could substitute up to 8 players, but in the Rio 2016 Olympics Asian Qualifiers Final Round, we can only change 3 players. For the Final Round, we need to prepare very well to keep our level of play throughout the 90 minutes whoever will be selected.
MF ENDO Wataru (Shonan Bellmare)
We know what type of football we need to play and each of us understands the team’s strategies. Today players changed frequently in the 2nd half but we kept our level of play. At the first goal, we could make the chance after checking how they pressured us.
MF NOTSUDA Gakuto (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
At the first goal, I was aiming at that space. ASANO moved forward near the goal to make the space for me so I just wanted to jump in there. KAMEKAWA said he could see that. I think the combination with him has been much better now. He comes up at good times and I feel we have gradually understood each other better.
Luis Fernando FALLAS ARIAS, Head Coach (U-22 Costa Rica National Team)
The high level of play from Japan didn’t surprise me since I was expecting it. We came here to get used to high-level plays. The Costa Rica is now preparing for the qualifier for the Olympic Games next month even though seven regular squad players couldn’t join the team this time. Including them, we will make decision to select the squad players.
JFA-TV (Japanese version only)
Interview - ENDO Wataru (Shonan Bellmare)
Interview - NOTSUDA Gakuto (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
Interview - KANAMORI Takeshi (Avispa Fukuoka)
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