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HOME > SAMURAI BLUE > EAFF East Asian Cup 2015 TOP > NEWS > SAMURAI BLUE end up with 1-1 draw to Korea Rep. in EAFF East Asian Cup Match 2


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SAMURAI BLUE end up with 1-1 draw to Korea Rep. in EAFF East Asian Cup Match 2

06 August 2015

SAMURAI BLUE end up with 1-1 draw to Korea Rep. in EAFF East Asian Cup Match 2

SAMURAI BLUE faced Korea Republic in their second match on 5 August at the EAFF East Asian Cup in Wuhan, China. The Japanese side grabbed their first point of the tournament with a 1-1 draw, but their hope for the back-to-back title ended before they play the final match.

Five of the starting lineup from the match against Korea DPR three days ago were replaced, as defender OTA Kosuke (F.C.Tokyo), midfielders FUJITA Naoyuki (Sagan Tosu) and KURATA Shu (Gamba Osaka) with their first international cap, midfielder SHIBASAKI Gaku (Kashima Antlers) and forward KOROGI Shinzoh (Urawa Reds) featured this time.

Korea Republic also reshuffled eight players from their opener against China PR and played the squad including four players from the roster in the AFC Asian Cup in January of this year where they finished runners-up.

While the Korean side built up their offence led by V-Varen Nagasaki midfielder LEE Yongjae and midfielder JU Se Jong, Sagan Tosu midfielder KIM Minwoo, Vissel Kobe midfielder JUNG Wooyoung and towering striker KIM Shinwook tried to find the net.

Meanwhile, Japan built a 4-1-4-1 block considering the heat and fatigue and waited for a chance to attack, but the players were not able to establish a rhythm with each other even after they robbed the ball, which resulted in failing to thread passes and give away the ball.

The deadlock was broken in the 26th minute. When a Korean player sent a floated pass into the box, Japanese player's play was ruled a handball for a penalty kick. Midfielder JANG Hyunsoo sent goalkeeper NISHIKAWA Shusaku (Urawa Reds) the wrong way to give his side a 1-0 lead.

Koreans continued to threaten the Japanese side with JUNG Wooyoung's free kick.

But in the 39th minute, Japan finally started to connect passes with a good combination, when midfielder YAMAGUCHI Hotaru (Cerezo Osaka) received a pass from Kurata and right-footed it for an equaliser. Yamaguchi posted his first goal in his 19 international appearances.

In the second half, Yamaguchi kept running toward up front aggressively to take shots but failed to put them into the net.

Kurata had a one-on-one situation from Nagoya Grampus forward NAGAI Kensuke's pass on a counterattack in the 65th minute. Then substitute forward ASANO Takuma (Sanfrecce Hiroshima) fired a shot after receiving Shibasaki's through ball, but both efforts were denied by the opponents.

Korea's attacks went active when LEE Jae Sung subbed in after 64 minutes. In the 68th minute, LEE Yongjae's shot hit off the cross bar, and in the 74th minute, LEE Jae Sung fired a shot from the middle of the box.

In the 77th minute, KIM Shinwook met a right cross, but defender ENDO Wataru (Shonan Bellmare), who held down the right back position following the last match, committed himself to deny the shot.

Japan sent on forwards USAMI Takashi (Gamba Osaka) and KAWAMATA Kengo (Nagoya Grampus) to edge ahead but were not able to grab a go-ahead goal before ending their second match with a draw.

Match details

In the second match of the day, China PR claimed their first win of the tournament in the match against Korea DPR.

As a result, Korea Republic earned four points and stand in top spot with one win and one draw, followed by China PR in second on goal difference. Korea DPR are at third place while Japan sit in fourth with one point.

Japan will face China PR in the final fixture on 9th. The match venue will be the same at Wuhan Sports Stadium.

Coach and Players' Comments

Vahid HALILHODZIC, Coach of SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team)
My players showed defensive intensity very well today. I replaced five of the players from the opener, but the players positioned well in defence. Considering the quality of the players, I went realistic because the players weren't able to put pressure at a high position. But physical intensity and power were still problem, and we struggled with aerial battles against the opposing attackers. 

On the offensive side, it was the first time to have only few chances in a match after I took over the coach position. We weren't able to create as many chances as we did in the Korea DPR match and made mistakes when going up front after winning the ball.

Our players were also a bit feeble and tired. Korea Republic, the best team in this tournament, had a better automatism than us and got a better preparation. The draw against such a team is something we can be a bit satisfied and I can give the players some credit.

In the China PR match, we are going to be in better form and get a better automatism, so we will give it a try and look for a win.

MF #8   FUJITA Naoyuki (Sagan Tosu)
I was told to play "tightly but with no foul," but I gave up some unnecessary fouls. I wasn't able to be the starting point of our attacks and shift the sides by supporting my teammates. They are the things I need to improve.

Our coach told us to keep the position of our defensive block by players' decision, and we talked with each other that it wasn't a good idea to put pressure from a high position because we had a string of matches and weren't in good form. I think such a way to defend wasn't so bad.

MF #16   YAMAGUCHI Hotaru (Cerezo Osaka)
Our coach told me to take shots from distance, so I was trying to take a shot when I got the ball. Kurata was looking me over. Our defensive assignment wasn't clear enough as a whole and we spent a lot of time adjusting it. But we were able to commit ourselves well even though we allowed the opponents to attack in our end. We should've had more plays challenging with courageous dribbles.

JFA-TV (Japanese version only)

  • Interview - FUJITA Naoyuki (Sagan Tosu)


Fri. 31 July 19:00 Official Practice (Wuhan Sports Center Training Ground1)
Sat. 1 August PM Training
Sun. 2 August 1-2 vs. Korea DPR
(Wuhan Sports Center Stadium)
Mon. 3 August AM Training
Tue. 4 August PM Training
Wed. 5 August 1-1 vs. Korea Republic
(Wuhan Sports Center Stadium)
Thu. 6 August AM Training
Fri. 7 August PM Training
Sat. 8 August PM Training
Sun. 9 August 20:10 China PR
(Wuhan Sports Center Stadium)

EAFF East Asian Cup 2015

Sun. 2 August - Sun. 9 August

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