The AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022™ Qualifiers was held on Thursday 28 October at J-Village Stadium, where the U-22 Japan National Team played against the U-22 Hong Kong National Team.
Coach TOGASHI Koichi, who mentioned, “All 23 players are good enough to start,” rotated the entire starting line-up since their first match, as OBATA Yuma (Vegalta Sendai) started in goal, with HANDA Riku (Montedio Yamagata), BABA Seiya (Tokyo Verdy), SAKO Maaya (Fujieda MYFC), and HATA Taiga (Shonan Bellmare) forming the defence line. FUJITA Joel Chima (Tokushima Vortis), MATSUOKA Daiki (Shimizu S-Pulse), and GOKE Yuta (Vissel Kobe) were named as the central midfielders, with NAKAMURA Jiro (Gamba Osaka Youth) and SUZUKI Yuito (Shimizu S-Pulse) positioned in the flanks, while FUJIO Shota (Mito HollyHock) played as the lone striker.
As Goke, who wore the captain’s band for this match, mentioned, “We were grateful to be given the opportunity to play an international match under the ongoing pandemic, so we wanted to express our gratitude on the pitch,” Japan entered the match with strong determination. Although they were in position to top the group with a draw, the Japanese players were committed to finish the qualifier with a win. .....
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