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Hiroshima beat Iwata to record their first back-to-back wins of the season! - Prince Takamado Trophy JFA U-18 Football Premier League 2022

11 July 2022

Hiroshima beat Iwata to record their first back-to-back wins of the season! - Prince Takamado Trophy JFA U-18 Football Premier League 2022

The 12th sec. of the Prince Takamado Trophy JFA U-18 Football Premier League 2022 WEST took place on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 July. At Iwata Sports Exchange Village Yumeria Stadium, Jubilo Iwata U-18 (Shizuoka) faced Sanfrecce Hiroshima FC Youth (Hiroshima).

Featured Match

Jubilo Iwata U-18 1-2 (0-0, 1-2) Sanfrecce Hiroshima FC Youth

Despite entering the season as the defending champions, Hiroshima went six matches without a win, but since claiming their first victory against Nagoya Grampus U-18 (Aichi) in the eighth sec, they have remained unbeaten in four matches. Having lost 1-3 in the first leg, the Hiroshima side entered the match with great enthusiasm to level their record against Iwata.

A key point for Hiroshima in the first half was dealing with ITO Takeshi (#9) and GOTO Keisuke (#17), who were responsible for more than half of Iwata's total goals. As WATANABE Yuta (#5) recalls, “We applied pressure from the front to keep the ball away from the two key players,” Hiroshima started the match by applying aggressive pressure from their front line.

Once winning the ball, Hiroshima collected the ball to their two wingers, TAKIGUCHI Haruto (#7) and KOSHIMICHI Sota (#11), to penetrate the flanks, as coach TAKATA Tetsuya mentioned, “We were confident in their abilities to attack the flanks.” In the third minute, HATANO Ryota (#6) responded to a loose ball following a corner kick to strike a volley shot, while KASAGI Yuzu (#10) made an attempt from a set piece in the 13th minute, but the visitors fell short from capturing the goal during the first half.

Hiroshima continued to dominate in the second half. In the 52nd minute, TAKASHITA Michika (#14), who had made countless runs to chase the ball from the attacking third, won the ball in the midfield before sending a through ball, as the midfielder later reflected, “I knew I was in the opponent’s blind spot, so I thought I could use my body to win the ball.” Although the initial shot taken by NAKAGAWA Hagumu (#29) was denied by the goalkeeper, SENO Hayato (#13) was there to convert the deflection to break the deadlock.

Iwata came rallying back with the attempts made by Ito in the 63rd and 68th minute, but Hiroshima’s goalkeeper NAGOSHI Eiko (#1) showed great composure to keep the one-goal lead intact. The second goal came soon after Hiroshima fended off Iwata’s attacks, when Kasagi received the ball from Seno before firing a shot that captured the net in the 72nd minute.

In the closing minutes of the match, Iwata brought OKA Kohei (#5) off the bench. The introduction of their captain, who had been side-lined due to an injury, allowed the home side to find their rhythm and gain momentum, as MATSUDA Kazuki (#7) later reflected, “With Kohei on the pitch, we were able to regain our composure and face the opposing goal.” With momentum on their side, Iwata managed to cut the deficit in half, when SUZUKI Taito (#19) converted the cross of ITO Ryosuke (#25) in the 79th minute, but their rally ended their, as Hiroshima marked their first back-to-back wins of the season to move up the rankings to sixth place.

Coaches and Players' Comments

DF #7 MATSUDA Kazuki (Jubilo Iwata U-18)
We played a bit too passively against a Hiroshima side who applied aggressive pressure from the start. Although the first half ended 0-0, it felt like the initial approach affected the entire match. We need to get stronger to fend off opponents who apply pressure from the front line. We have been working on our passing game this season, and I believe the best way to earn results is to continue to work on and polish our football.

MF #14 NOGUCHI Raimu (Jubilo Iwata U-18)
We were overwhelmed by our opponents and couldn’t find ways to get the ball to our offence. I think how we react to adversity is what matters the most. In this case, I feel like we should have played more aggressively, just like how we played in the matches we have won. This is a disappointing result, especially considering how well we played in the second half. We have been lacking seriousness in our recent trainings, so that is something we need to fix, both as a team and as individuals.

TAKATA Tetsuya, Coach (Sanfrecce Hiroshima FC Youth)
Entering this match, we knew that how we stop the two strikers was going to be the key. The players did well to deny the passes delivered to the final third to keep the two attackers from doing their jobs in the first half. Considering how things went in the first half, we wanted to finish the first half 1-0, but 0-0 was still not bad. Jubilo made conscious efforts to use their two attackers in the second half, but we were able to take advantage of their approach and score goals by initiating counterattacks. We have picked up momentum in our recent matches, and the players are gaining confidence from these victories.

DF #5 WATANABE Yuta (Sanfrecce Hiroshima FC Youth)
Our team showed a lot of flaws early in the season. We weren’t fighting hard to win the ball and the younger players were hesitant to play their usual game when they were on the pitch with the seniors. These were some of the areas we made conscious efforts to fix during our training sessions. The fact that we addressed these issues in our meetings and worked to improve the quality of our trainings have led to better performances in the matches. We really want to earn the full nine points out of this series of three away matches, so we hope to cap off the series with another win against S-Pulse so that we can carry a positive momentum into the Club Youth Football Championship.

Results of other matches

Vissel Kobe U-18 1-0 (0-0, 1-0) Gamba Osaka Youth
Riseisha High School 1-2 (0-1, 1-1) Sagan Tosu U-18
Shizuoka Gakuen High School 2-2 (0-0, 2-2) Ozu High School
Higashi Fukuoka High School 2-1 (1-0, 1-1) Shimizu S-Pulse Youth
Cerezo Osaka U-18 Postponed Nagoya Grampus U-18

Vissel Kobe U-18 (Hyogo) managed to hang onto the goal scored by YOKOYAMA Shido (#2) in the early minutes of the second half to beat Gamba Osaka Youth (Osaka) at home to extend their winning streak to three matches. Sagan Tosu U-18 (Saga), who have the provisional lead in the WEST, scored a goal apiece in each half to mark their ninth win of the season. Despite conceding back to back goals to Ozu High School’s (Kumamoto) KOBAYASHI Shunei (#9), Shizuoka Gakuen High School (Shizuoka) managed to walk away with a point thanks to the goals of TAKAHASHI Ryuta (#10) and SAITO Kairi (#32). SAKAKIBARA Kanta (#18) and YOSHIDA Taiko (#4) each scored a goal to help Higashi Fukuoka High School (Fukuoka) win over Shimizu S-Pulse Youth (Shizuoka) at home. The match between Cerezo Osaka U-18 (Osaka) and Nagoya Grampus U-18 (Aichi) was postponed. An alternative date will be announced in due course.

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