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HOME > National Teams > U-23 2024 > NEWS > 【Match Report】U-23 Japan National Team defeat host nation to reach semi-finals of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024™


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【Match Report】U-23 Japan National Team defeat host nation to reach semi-finals of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024™

26 April 2024

【Match Report】U-23 Japan National Team defeat host nation to reach semi-finals of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024™

On Thursday 25 April, the U-23 Japan National Team took on the U-23 Qatar National Team in the quarterfinals of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024™ at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium.

Entering the first match of the knockout stage, Japan made 10 changes to their starting line-up since their 0-1 defeat to Korea Republic in the group stage. KOKUBO Leo Brian (SL Benfica) started in goal behind a backline of SEKINE Hiroki (Kashiwa Reysol), TAKAI Kota (Kawasaki Frontale), KIMURA Seiji (Sagan Tosu), and OHATA Ayumu (Urawa Red Diamonds). FUJITA Joel Chima (Sint-Truidense VV), YAMAMOTO Rihito (Sint-Truidense VV), and MATSUKI Kuryu (FC Tokyo) were placed in midfield, while SATO Kein (SV Werder Bremen) and YAMADA Fuki (Tokyo Verdy) were deployed on the flanks with HOSOYA Mao (Kashiwa Reysol) playing as a central striker.

Despite having to open their knockout campaign in a complete away atmosphere against the hosts, Japan showed plenty of aggression from the outset, which led to the opening goal in the second minute when Yamada pounced on a misplaced pass from the home side and scored with a left-footed shot from the edge of the area.

Qatar responded with an equaliser in the 24th minute, but were reduced to ten men after a reckless challenge earned them a red card in the 41st minute.

"We need to reflect on how we started the second half," said Japan head coach OIWA Go, whose side conceded a 49th-minute goal to Qatar despite their numerical advantage.

The goal put Japan in a difficult position but led by Fujita, they continued to move the ball around and use the width of the pitch to create chances that threatened the Qatari goal. Their persistence paid off in the 67th minute when Kimura headed home a corner from the right.

After the match went into extra time, the golden moment came in the 101st minute when Hosoya capitalised on a through ball from ARAKI Ryotaro (FC Tokyo) to put Japan ahead. UCHINO Kotaro (University of Tsukuba) added an insurance goal in the 112th minute to complete the scoring as Japan booked their place in the semi-finals with a 4-2 victory.

Japan will now play the winner of the Iraq-Vietnam match in the semi-finals on Tuesday 30 April at 2:30am (Japan time).

Coach's and Players' Comments

OIWA Go, Head Coach of U-23 Japan National Team
The players did a great job, but there were certain phases of the game where we could have been more aggressive, both on and off the ball. Before extra time, I reminded the players that we were in control of the game, especially with the numerical advantage, that we were going to try and score goals, that we needed to use time wisely and not match the intensity of our opponents. Momentum will not get us through the semi-finals, so we need to analyse our opponents and prepare ourselves with a thorough plan to reach the final.

DF #5 KIMURA Seiji (Sagan Tosu)
The way we conceded the goals was disappointing, but we should be proud of the way we competed throughout the 120 minutes to ultimately win the game. Conceding from a counterattack is the worst thing that can happen when playing with a man advantage, so we made a conscious effort to limit the risks. Thanks to the eye training I did when I was injured, I was able to anticipate where the ball was going to land better than before, which has allowed me to connect with the crosses from our training sessions.

MF #11 YAMADA Fuki (Tokyo Verdy)
Going into the game, we told ourselves to be aggressive with our shots and that was exactly what we did. I had no hesitation in taking that shot in that situation. I saw where the goalkeeper was positioned and realised that the near post was open, so that was where I aimed. It was my first international goal, so it gives me a lot of confidence going forward. It means a lot to score in such an important game and I hope I can continue to produce results like that in future games.

FW #19 HOSOYA Mao (Kashiwa Reysol)
I am happy to have scored. I know Araki's style of play and he made such a nice pass that I just had to make sure I controlled the ball to score. It's been a while since I've been able to score and contribute to the team, so I'm relieved to have helped the team win today. It was great that we were able to show our ability to score from set-pieces, but we also conceded goals from them, so that is something we need to improve on before our next game.

YouTube(AFC):#AFCU23 | Q-Final : Qatar 2 - 4 Japan

AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024™

Tournament dates: Mon. 15 April - Fri. 3 May 2024

Group stage
1st match: Tue. 16 April, ◯1-0 vs China PR
2nd match: Sat. 20 April, ◯2-0 vs UAE
3rd match: Mon. 22 April, ●0-1 vs Korea Republic

Knockout stage
Quarterfinals: Thu. 25 April, ◯4-2 vs Qatar
Semi-finals: Tue. 30 April, 2:30 vs Iraq
*Kick-off time listed in Japan time

Tournament information

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