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HOME > National Teams > U-16 2024 > NEWS > 【Match Report】U-16 Japan National Team defeat Venezuela 4-0 to move closer to back-to-back titles - U-16 International Dream Cup 2024 JAPAN


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【Match Report】U-16 Japan National Team defeat Venezuela 4-0 to move closer to back-to-back titles - U-16 International Dream Cup 2024 JAPAN

22 June 2024

【Match Report】U-16 Japan National Team defeat Venezuela 4-0 to move closer to back-to-back titles - U-16 International Dream Cup 2024 JAPAN

The second fixtures of the U-16 International Dream Cup 2024 JAPAN took place on Friday 21 June at the J-Village Stadium in Fukushima.

U-16 Japan National Team 4-0 (2-0, 2-0) U-16 Venezuela National Team

Following their 6-0 win over Ukraine, Japan made nine changes to ensure that all 20 players in their squad got a chance to start.

Facing a tough and competitive opponent like Venezuela, head coach HIROYAMA Nozomi said: "We are very grateful for the opportunity to play against a team like this." NOGUCHI Rento (Sanfrecce Hiroshima FC Youth) also reflected on the start of the match: "It was our first time playing against a South American team and their intensity level was much higher than we expected, so we were overwhelmed at first."

Despite their early struggles, it was Japan who opened the scoring in the 10th minute when ASADA Hiroto (Yokohama F.Marinos Youth) converted a delivery from NISHIOKA Kento (Jubilo Iwata U-18), a set-piece that Venezuela's head coach Oswaldo Augusto VIZCARRONDO ARAUJO later reflected on: "That one set-piece changed the whole dynamic of the game".

Japan doubled their lead in the 16th minute when DOIGUCHI Ritsu (Vissel Kobe U-18) latched onto a long pass from TANAKA Haruto (FC Tokyo U-18) and sent the final pass to Asada, who unleashed a shot into the corner of the net, as the striker later recalled: "I hit the ball as hard as I could."

Venezuela dictated the tempo of the match at times, but the centre-half duo of YOKOI Yuya (Gamba Osaka Youth) and SHINOZAKI Kento (Funabashi Municipal High School) kept their opponents at bay to keep Japan's clean sheet intact.

The two strikers who came off the bench on the hour mark added to their tally as KASAI Mibuki (Shonan Bellmare U-18) scored the third goal in the 65th minute and YOSHIDA Minato (Kashima Antlers Youth) converted a corner in additional time to give Japan a 4-0 win.

After the match, Coach Hiroyama commented: "We were able to exploit the gaps in their game and the fact that we were able to win against such a strong opponent gives us great confidence for the future."

Japan will take on African giants Senegal in their third and final match of the tournament on Sunday 23 June at J-Village Stadium.

Coach and Players' Comments

HIROYAMA Nozomi, Head Coach
Knowing how much pressure our opponents were going to put on us, we expected some gaps to open up and we were able to take advantage of those gaps to score goals. As a coach, I am grateful to be able to play against opponents who can give us experience that we cannot gain in Japan. We are not completely happy with our overall performance, but I want the players to build their confidence on this result. I feel that we were able to fight with more intensity I think our opponents will be in much better shape for the final match, so in that sense, it is nice to play against a great opponent like Senegal and it would be even better if we could win.

DF #3 YAMANAKA Yuki (Yokohama F.Marinos Youth)
It was my first call-up, so I was looking forward to seeing how well I could perform in a place where the best players of my generation are gathered. Today I wondered how far I could go against a South American team, but I feel I was able to show my strengths in a number of one-on-one situations. I am not very confident in my ability to fight for the ball, so I need to improve in that area, but I am glad that I did not allow the ball to spill behind the backline in today's game.

MF #6 NOGUCHI Rento (Sanfrecce Hiroshima FC Youth)
Things got a lot easier once we got control over the ball possession. This game made me realise how much the South American teams fought for the ball. It was hard to deal with the way our opponents created two-on-one situations. It reminded me how much I need to improve my defensive skills. We knew there would be gaps between their lines, especially at the full-back position, so we made a conscious effort to exploit those spaces, and it paid off. Playing in the U-17 World Cup is my next goal and I want to become a world-class player.

FW #11 ASADA Hiroto (Yokohama F.Marinos Youth)
My ability to score goals or create chances from breakaways is my biggest strength, so I was happy to show that in this game. The first goal came from a play we went through in training, so I just concentrated on making good contact and keeping the ball on the ground, especially knowing how the ball would skip on this slippery pitch. I hit the ball as hard as I could when I scored the second goal. It was the first time I have scored multiple goals for the national team, so I am very happy. A striker is expected to score goals all the time, so I am glad that I was able to get results.

U-16 International Dream Cup 2024 JAPAN

Tournament dates: Wed. 19 June - Sun. 23 June 2024
Participating teams: Japan, Senegal, Venezuela, Ukraine
Venue: J-Village Stadium, Fukushima [Free admission to all matches]
Tournament information

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