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U-18 Japan National Team concludes Spain tour with win over Scotland

10 September 2019

U-18 Japan National Team concludes Spain tour with win over Scotland

Spain Tour 4th Match vs U-18 Scotland National Team
Mon. 9 September 2019 11:00 Match duration 90mins (45mins×2)
Pinatar Arena (Spain)

U-18 Japan National Team 3-2 (2-1, 1-1) U-18 Scotland National Team

Scores
2' UENAKA Asahi (U-18 Japan National Team)
19' ODA Yutaro (U-18 Japan National Team)
39' goal against (U-18 Scotland National Team)
55' SAKURAGAWA Soromon (U-18 Japan National Team)
68' goal against (U-18 Scotland National Team)

Starting Line-up
GK: KOKUBO Leobrian
DF: MIHARA Shuma, KIMURA Seiji, BABA Seiya, IKEDA Kou
MF: OMORI Shingo, MATSUMOTO Nagi, KAWASAKI Sota, ODA Yutaro
FW: SAKURAGAWA Soromon, UENAKA Asahi

Reserves
GK: OBATA Yuma
DF: NISHIO Ryuya, HAYASHIDA Kaito, KATO Hijiri, ISHIDA Ryotaro
MF: NAKAYAMA Riku, SHIBATA Sosuke, MATSUOKA Daiki, ISHIURA Taiga, AYUKAWA Shun
FW: FUJIO Shota, HARUYAMA Misaki

Substitutions
63' UENAKA Asahi → ISHIURA Taiga
71' MATSUMOTO Nagi → SHIBATA Sosuke
71' KIMURA Seiji → HAYASHIDA Kaito

Match Report

On Monday 9 September, the U-18 Japan National Team played their final match of the Spain tour against the U-18 Scotland National Team. After drawing 1-1 against the Scottish side on Thursday 5, Japan managed to better their previous result by winning the match 3-2.

With this match being their final training match ahead of the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 qualifiers, Japan entered the match with great intensity and took the initiative from the early minutes. The opening goal came in the second minute, when SAKURAGAWA Soromon passed the ball to IKEDA Kou, who delivered a cross towards the centre to allow UENAKA Asahi to convert the opportunity. With momentum on their side, Japan effectively utilised the width of the field, as they showed great ball movements to keep their opponents on their toes. Japan doubled their lead in the 19th minute, when ODA Yutaro broke through the left flank before penetrating the central area. His shot was once blocked by the Scottish side, but Oda managed to convert the loose ball to make it 2-0. Following this goal, the match turned into a deadlock, as Scotland gradually picked up their pace. In the 39th minute, Japan committed a careless foul inside their own penalty area, resulting in a Scottish goal to make it 2-1 at halftime.

Learning from their failure from their first match against Scotland, Japan came out the second half by applying aggressive pressure from the frontline. Uenaka came close to scoring another goal for Japan in the 50th minute, when he broke free to face the goalkeeper one-on-one, but the Scottish goalkeeper made a fine save to deny this opportunity. Japan’s third goal came five minutes after this play, as OMORI Shingo sent a pass towards the right flank to allow MIHARA Shuma to deliver a cross to the centre. It was Sakuragawa who connected with this delivery to strike a volley shot to make it 3-1. In efforts to level the match, Scotland started to utilise the long balls to threaten the Japanese goal. Their aggressive approach got paid off in the 68th minute, as they earned their second penalty kick of the match and converted the spot kick to get within a single goal to tie the match. However, Japan’s aggression did not die down as they showed great persistency to keep their lead intact while seeking for their opportunities to score more goals. With both sides showcasing a heated battle until the end, the match ended with a final score of 3-2.

With this victory, the U-18 Japan National Team finished off their Span tour with a record of three wins and a draw. Japan will seek to carry this momentum into the AFC U-19 Championship 2020 qualifiers, scheduled to take place at Vietnam in October.

Players' Comments

DF #4 BABA Seiya (Tokyo Verdy Youth)
We were able to take control of the match until we scored our second goal, but from there on, we started to make many mistakes and allowed our opponents to get back into the match. We discussed about our performance during halftime and managed to make the necessary adjustments in the second half. This tour has made us realise that we need to manage our games more efficiently. Ahead of the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers, I will work hard at my club so that I can be selected to this team again.

DF #15 MIHARA Shuma (Ehime FC U-18)
It was great that we were able to finish this tour on a high note. However, I gave up the ball many times during our build-up plays, and there were many aspects I felt I need to improve on. We struggled when our opponents showed their aggression and gave up many opportunities for them to counterattack. Through this tour, we faced teams with different football styles and gained a great learning experience. We realised that we still need to improve in many aspects. Once I return to my club, I will work hard to become a better player, so that I can return to this team for the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers.

DF #24 KIMURA Seiji (F.C. Tokyo U-18)
After drawing a match we should have won against Scotland in our first match, I entered today’s match with a sense of revenge. However, I held onto the ball too much and made simple mistakes that hurt our team. Despite winning the match, there were many aspects I felt I need to improve on. This tour has made me realise the importance to make adjustments during the match. I now know what I need to do to become a better player, so once I return to my club, I will train hard to heighten the overall quality of my plays.

MF #5 MATSUMOTO Nagi (Cerezo Osaka U-18)
Although we managed to enter the match with great intensity to take a 2-0 lead, we ruined that positive momentum with our own mistakes. After talking it over during halftime, we were able to regain our aggression and create many opportunities in the second half. Despite winning the match, it made us realise that we need to be more consistent with our performances. This tour has given us the opportunity to gain unique experiences we cannot experience in Japan. There will be no easy matches at the AFC U-19 Championship qualifiers, so I will work hard at my club to reach a higher level.

Schedule

Tue. 3 September AM/PM Training
Wed. 4 September AM/PM Training
Thu. 5 September 1-1 1st Match vs U-18 Scotland National Team
(Pinatar Arena, Murcia)
Fri. 6 September 1-0 2nd Match vs U-18 Spain National Team
(Pinatar Arena, Murcia)
Sat. 7 September AM Training
Sun. 8 September 4-0 3rd Match vs Callosa Deportiva CF
(Pinatar Arena, Murcia)
Mon. 9 September 3-2 4th Match vs U-18 Scotland National Team
(Pinatar Arena, Murcia)

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

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