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Japan’s incredible squad waltzed into AFC final – football news

Seven changes, that is what Moriyama Toshiro did in the semi-final of the AFC U16 Championship against Australia compared to the starting eleven that was paraded in the win over Oman in the quarterfinal. Despite that, Japan still walked away with a very handsome 3-1 win against their fellow U17 World Cup qualifier.

Only centre back Riku Handa, right back Kohshiro Sumi, defensive midfielder Asahi Yokokawa and attacking midfielder Hiraku Naruoka kept their places but Japan still managed to tore into an inferior Australian side with a little help some half time substitutions.

Trailing to a first half goal from Australia’s Noah Botic, the introduction of star player Jun Nishikawa lighted the flame of revival for Japan that culminated in a 20 minutes period in the second half where the match swung completely to the side of the young Samurai Blues.

Shoji Toyama grabbed a brace to continue his good goalscoring run in the tournament before Shunsuke Mito added the icing on the cake and sent Japan through to their first final since the 2012 edition that was held in Iran.

Jun Nishikawa, Japan U16, AFC U16 Championship

“For this match, we switched a lot of players to give a chance to players that didn’t get much playing time before. We conceded the first goal but after that we created many chances but couldn’t finish,” said Toshiro in the post-match press conference.

“One of the keys for this victory was the second half where we managed to steal the ball from the opponent and having Nishikawa on the pitch just raised the whole quality on the pitch as he could calm down the play.

“I haven’t decided the starting XI yet (for the final). We have to see the conditions of the players, some of them have small injuries. Obviously some players have played a lot of minutes, so it’ll depend on the recovery in the next few days.”

Japan have won four of the five matches that they have played in the tournament thus far in their run to the final. Ironically, the only match which they did not win was the group stage match against Tajikistan, who will be their opponent in the final.

 

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Morgan’s charges kept their belief in themselves – football news


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


Australia have advanced to the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship semi-finals and reached the 2019 World Cup U-17, following their 3-2 quarter-final win over Indonesia on Monday.

Indonesia opened the scoring in the match that was held at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium through Sutan Zico’s 17th minute goal, but Trevor Morgan’s boys piled the pressure on their opponents in the second half to score three goals. Indonesia pulled one back in the final moments, but could not find the equaliser.

Indonesia vs Australia match highlights

Speaking in the post-match press conference, Morgan described what he told his charges at halftime, when they were trailing to the Indonesians.

“I told my boys that they could play better, and that they had played exceptionally well before conceding.

“At halftime I made them maintain their focus again, to play like they always had. I told my players to anticipate Indonesia’s strengths as they had massive talent. The goal would come, and that’s what eventually happened,” said Morgan. 

Australia will face off against Japan in the semi-finals this Thursday, at 4.30 Malaysian time. The match will be held at Bukit Jalil.

 

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Tajikistan had a rough start to their 2018 AFC U-16 Championship campaign, but completed a stunning turnaround to defeat DPR Korea on penalties in the quarter-finals, to reach the semis and the 2019 U-17 World Cup. Tajikistan bermula longlai dalam Kejohanan AFC B-16 2018, tetapi bangkit dan mara ke peringkat separuh akhir untuk layak ke Piala Dunia B-17 2019, selepas menumpaskan Korea Utara menerusi sepakan penalti di peringkat suku akhir!

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Clinical Koreans put Australia the sword in Group D opener – football news

After defending champions Iraq earned a hard fought win over Afghanistan earlier in the day, both South Korea and Australia knew that they have to get all three points in the second of the day in Group D to stay in the running of a place in the knockout stage.

Early on in the first half both teams took time to settled down and play were largely centered in the middle of the pitch with both sides continuously gifting possession back and fro. It wasn’t until after half an hour played that Korea started to take a stranglehold on the match.

Using both fullbacks to good effect, Korea started pushing more boys forward but striker Choi Min-seo wasted a good opportunity when he elected to go for power without necessary the right accuracy.

Choi would immediately made amends for his error when he struck he opener in the 43rd minute of the match. He turned and twisted Daniel Walsh before unleashing a shot to the bottom corner, past Ahmad Taleb in Australia’s goal.

After the half time break, the Koreans doubled their lead, through another individual effort, this time from Hong Yun-sang. The wide attacker broke the offside trap and easily slotted the ball past Taleb for Korea to lead 2-0.

It wasn’t long until the Asian powerhouse struck again as Choi showcased his incredible talent with his second of the night in the 69th minute. Once more Choi showed his marker the wrong side before rifling the ball into the roof of the net.

Trevor Morgan rang the changes in the attacking third of his team, taking out two forwards and one midfielder as he looked to get Australia back into the game. But he would struggle to get a tune of his players against a disciplined Korean backline.

It stayed 3-0 until the final whistle as South Korea with the impressive Choi leading the line, established themselves as one of the favourites of the tournament after an authoritative display against an Australian team thought to be their rival for the competition.

 

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