Kolkata: After making wholesale changes, Japan were made to pay by plucky New Caledonia, although the 1-1 draw was enough to qualify them for the Round of 16 at the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017 on Saturday.
Keito Nakamura scored his fourth goal of the competition early in the first half, and Jekob Jeno equalised dramatically in the 83rd minute for New Caledonia.
Although Japan had the vast majority of possession and dominated statistically, the Oceania representatives showed marked improvement following on from lopsided defeats to France and Honduras in their first two matches.
They showed great bravery to fight their way back into a first half, in which they went behind in the sixth minute to Nakamura’s shot from a tight angle and saw their woodwork rattled twice......
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