On Friday 3 March, the U-20 Japan National Team played their first group match of the AFC U20 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2023 at JAR Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where they faced the U-20 China PR National Team.
For this match, Head Coach TOGASHI Koichi named KIMURA Ryoya (Nihon University) in goal with a four-man defence line formed by TANAKA Hayato (Kashiwa Reysol), MATSUDA Hayate (Mito HollyHock), YASHIKI Yusei (Oita Trinita), and TAKAI Kota (Kawasaki Frontale). YAMANE Riku (Yokohama F. Marinos), MATSUKI Kuryu (FC Tokyo), YOKOYAMA Ayumu (Sagan Tosu), and KODA Hidemasa (Nagoya Grampus) featured the midfield, with KITANO Sota (Cerezo Osaka) positioned beneath the lone striker SAKAMOTO Isa (Fagiano Okayama).
The match started with China PR showing great aggression and forcing Japan to play passively, which led to an own goal from a corner kick that ended up in the Japanese goal in the sixth minute. Gifted with a goal, China PR switched to a defensive strategy, laying a compact block in their own territory to anticipate for their chances to counterattack. .....
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