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Yamamoto delighted by five-star Japan

Chonburi: Japan striker Yuzuki Yamamoto believes Monday’s 5-0 win over Myanmar has handed her side a major boost as they look to progress to the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 knockout phase.

The Nippon TV Menina star scored twice as reigning champions Japan claimed the victory which left them occupying top spot in what promises to be a closely contested Group B.

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With group rivals China PR and Korea Republic also vying for a place in the semi-finals, Yamamoto feels Japan’s healthy goal difference – one which was accrued despite stiff resistance from a gritty Myanmar outfit – may well now be of major benefit to the five-time title winners.

“Myanmar kept a high defensive line early on in the game, I tried to find a way past them but was flagged offside each time I got into a goalscoring position. That made it difficult for us,” said the 17-year-old who featured for her country at the AFC U-16 Championship in 2017.

Group B: Japan vs Myanmar

“After constantly being caught offside, I decided on another approach to get past their defenders, so I used the space behind them and purposefully timed my run before receiving the ball.”

“I believe that goal difference is always important, especially during the group stage of a competition. I am very pleased, therefore, that we scored five goals."

Japan are next in action on Thursday against Korea Republic at the Chonburi Stadium.

Having seen the Koreans beat China 2-1 in the opening fixture, Yamamoto is fully aware of the challenge that lies ahead – one which, however, she believes Japan will be more than ready for.

“I think Korea Republic will be at their best [when they play us] and I’m expecting it to be a tough game,” she declared.

“We will however try to improve ourselves between then and now and go through the appropriate drills during our training sessions [ahead of the match].”

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