The U-20 Japan National Team faced the U-20 Senegal National Team in their opening group stage match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023™ on Sunday 21 May.
For this match, Head Coach TOGASHI Koichi started KIMURA Ryoya (Nihon University) in goal, with TAKAI Kota (Kawasaki Frontale), CHASE Anrie (VfB Stuttgart), TANAKA Hayato (Kashiwa Reysol), and TAKAHASHI Niko (FC Barcelona) forming the four-man defence line. FUKUI Taichi (FC Bayern Munich) and SANO Kodai (Fagiano Okayama) anchored the midfield with EINAGA Takatora (Kawasaki Frontale), MATSUKI Kuryu (FC Tokyo), and KITANO Sota (Cerezo Osaka) playing beneath the lone striker KUMATA Naoki (FC Tokyo).
In the opening minutes, Japan was confined to their own half as they struggled to contain Senegal, who consisted of players with exceptional athleticism and individual skills, as Chase later reflected, “It was difficult to take the initiative in the first match of the tournament.” However, Matsuki quickly turned things around in the 15th minute when he received a pass from Fukui at the edge of the penalty area and swung in a left-footed shot that found the back of the net. .....
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