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U-17 Japan National Team earns victory against Ecuador in 1st Friendly Match

07 September 2019

U-17 Japan National Team earns victory against Ecuador in 1st Friendly Match

Ecuador Tour 1st Match vs U-17 Ecuador National Team
Fri. 6 September 2019 16:00 Match duration 90mins (45minsx2)
Estadio Cristian Benitez (Ecuador)

U-17 Japan National Team 3-1 (1-0, 2-1) U-17 Ecuador National Team

Scores
14' WAKATSUKI Yamato (U-17 Japan National Team)
49' NAKANO Keita (U-17 Japan National Team)
55' WAKATSUKI Yamato (U-17 Japan National Team)
63' goal against (U-17 Ecuador National Team)

Starting Line-up
GK: SUZUKI Zion
DF: NAKANO Shinya, SUZUKI Kaito, YOKOKAWA Asahi, HANDA Riku
MF: FUJITA Joel Chima, TANAKA Satoshi, NARUOKA Hikaru, MITO Shunsuke
FW: WAKATSUKI Yamato, TOYAMA Shoji

Reserves
GK: NOZAWA Taishi Brandon
DF: HATA Taiga, MURAKAMI Yosuke, SUMI Kohshiro
MF: YAMAUCHI Kakeru, TAMURA Souki, TOYAMA Haruki
FW: NISHIKAWA Jun, NAKANO Keita, MITSUDA Shuto

Substitutions
HT TANAKA Satoshi → NAKANO Keita
61' MITO Shunsuke → TOYAMA Haruki
61' FUJITA Joel Chima → YAMAUCHI Kakeru
61' TOYAMA Shoji → MITSUDA Shuto
73' YOKOKAWA Asahi → MURAKAMI Yosuke
87' WAKATSUKI Yamato → SUMI Kohshiro

Match Report

On Friday 6 September, the U-17 Japan National Team played an international friendly match against the U-17 Ecuador National Team at Guayaquil, Ecuador. With less than two months left ahead of the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019, two teams who are both scheduled to compete at the World Cup faced each other in this match. Ahead of the match, coach MORIYAMA Yoshiro told his players, “we will take the initiative by playing tenaciously. Let’s heighten the level of our combinations while showcasing our team unity and commitment.”

The match kicked-off with many of the local fans coming out to the stadium to support Ecuador. Despite the away-game atmosphere, Japan started off the match with great focus and managed to take control of the game through their quick ball movements and aggressive pressure from their frontline. The opening goal came in the 14th minute, when WAKATSUKI Yamato received the ball from FUJITA Joel Chima, before striking a shot into the right hand corner of the goal to make it 1-0. With the one goal lead, Japan continued to show their dominance for a while, but eventually saw Ecuador pickup their pace towards the end of the first half. Although Japan was forced to be in the defensive end towards the end, the match entered halftime with the visiting side up by a goal.

The second half saw the Ecuadorian side being the aggressor, as they sought for their opportunities to equalise the match. However, the next goal was scored by Japan, as the visiting side took advantage of the high pressure exerted by Ecuador. The goal came in the 49th minute, when Wakatsuki broke through the open space behind the Ecuadorian defence line and delivered the last pass to NAKANO Keita, who calmly slotted the ball into the net. With the second goal seemingly giving them a positive momentum, Japan further extended their lead in the 55th minute, when Wakatsuki registered his second goal of the match. Despite seeing Japan taking a 3-0 lead, the home side rallied back to take control of the match for the remaining minutes. In the 63rd minute, Ecuador created a one-on-one opportunity and scored their first goal of the match. The South American side continued to show great ball movements to threaten the Japanese goal, but the match ended with a final score of 3-1, as Japan took down the first of two international friendly matches scheduled between the two sides.

Despite the victory, there were plenty of room for Japan to improve ahead of the World Cup, especially with the way they played in the second half. The U-17 Japan National Team will play their second international friendly match against the U-17 Ecuador National Team on Monday 9, before heading back to Japan.

Players' Comments

GK #1 SUZUKI Zion (Urawa Reds Youth)
We started off the match by applying aggressive pressure from the frontline and managed to enter the match in a great way. I personally was able to stay focused and respond quickly to the long balls sent behind our defence line to clear the ball. However, I could have helped our offence by penetrating the space behind the opposing defence line more often. The quality of my long kicks needed improvements as well. We hope to win our next match and end this tour with three consecutive victories.

MF #7 MITO Shunsuke (JFA Academy Fukushima U18)
We entered today’s match by simulating the World Cup and played with a sense of urgency. Despite winning the match, we saw many aspects that needed improvements, both as a team and as an individual. We have less than a month and a half left before the World Cup, so we will enter our next match with the same kind of urgency. We must all change our mindset and strive to reach higher standards before entering the World Cup.

MF #13 FUJITA Joel Chima (Tokyo Verdy Youth)
Through this match against Ecuador, we were able to see what it takes to compete at the world level in terms of physical strengths and commitment to win the ball. Despite winning the match, we saw many problems that needs to be addressed. Ahead of our next match, we must make the necessary adjustments to outperform opponents who are superior in physical strengths and challenge ourselves in the match to win the match.

Schedule

Tue. 3 September AM/PM Training
Wed. 4 September AM/PM Training
Thu. 5 September 3-0 Training Match vs U-17 Guayaquil Select Team
(Estadio Alejandro Ponce Noboa, Guayaquil)
Fri. 6 September 3-1 1st Match vs U-17 Ecuador National Team
(Estadio Cristian Benitez, Guayaquil)
Sat. 7 September AM Training
Sun. 8 September AM Training
Mon. 9 September 11:00 2nd Match vs U-17 Ecuador National Team
(Estadio Monumental Banco Pichincha, Guayaquil)

*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.

International Friendly Match - Ecuador Tour

Dates: Mon. 2 - Wed. 11 September 2019
Tournament Information

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