Half-time pep talk fuelled Japan's comeback, says Togashi
Tashkent: Head coach Koichi Togashi said his halftime demand that Japan increase the tempo of their attacking play had paid dividends on Friday as the Samurai Blue fought back to secure a 2-1 win over China PR at the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023.
Naoki Kumata came off the bench to score twice in four second half minutes for the Japanese to cancel out Hayato Tanaka’s sixth minute own goal and earn Togashi’s side a hard-fought opening day win over their East Asian neighbours in Group D.
Tashkent: Within the first 10 seconds of the referee’s first blow of the whistle, Jordan managed to find themselves one player short in their AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 Group C opener against Tajikistan on Thursday.
But before the match reached its 30-minute mark, the West Asian side had made amends through goals from Ali Ahmad Azaizeh and Sief Addeen Darwish as they went on to seal a 2-0 win at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Tashkent.
Tashkent: Two goals in four second-half minutes from substitute Naoki Kumata saw Japan fight back from going behind to an early own goal and hand China PR a 2-1 defeat in their opening Group D clash at JAR Stadium in the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 on Friday.
Kumata’s double came after Hayato Tanaka had headed into his own net in the sixth minute to put the Chinese in front only for the FC Tokyo forward to score in the 66th and 70th minutes to earn Japan all three points.
The win was no less than Koichi Togashi’s side deserved after dominating the game and their persistence in attack eventually paid off after Kumata had replaced Isa Sakamoto in the 56th minute.
Tashkent: Abdullah Radif’s second-half penalty was the difference at Bunyodkor Stadium as Saudi Arabia mustered a 1-0 victory over Kyrgyz Republic in Group D of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 on Friday.
With three points secured, Saudi Arabia take on China PR next, while Kyrgyz Republic’s Monday encounter sees them face a Japan side that had beaten China PR 2-1 earlier on Matchday One.
Tashkent: AFC U20 Asian Cup™ 2023 hosts Uzbekistan go into their second match of Group A against Iraq with a chance of becoming the first team to reach the quarter-finals, and head coach Ravshan Khaydarov believes talisman Abbosbek Fayzullaev will be crucial to their chances.
The Pakhtakor attacker wreaked havoc through the Syrian defence in his side’s 2-0 victory on Matchday One, whipping in the opener with a fine free-kick before sending in the cross from the corner kick that led to the second with a Zakaria Al Ramadan own goal before being taken off eight minutes from time.
Widely tipped to be one of the stars of the tournament and a key member of his club side at the age of 19, Fayzullaev has cemented his status as one of the nation’s brightest talents and has spoken about doing more of the same against Iraq.
Tashkent: Indonesia head coach Shin Tae-yong will look to keep his players’ spirits high in the lead-up to their AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 Group A meeting with Syria on Saturday as the Garuda Muda attempt to bounce back from their opening day loss at the hands of Iraq.
Shin’s team slipped to a 2-0 defeat against the Iraqis on Wednesday but showed plenty of positive signs throughout the 90 minutes at Lokomotiv Stadium to give the former Korea Republic head coach encouragement ahead of their crucial clash with the Syrians.
Fergana: Head coach Trevor Morgan is hoping his Australian side will turn the corner when they face Islamic Republic of Iran in Group B’s Matchday Two of the AFC U20 Asian Cup™ Uzbekistan 2023 on Saturday.
Australia suffered a 1-0 setback on the opening day against Vietnam and will lock horns with an Iran side who edged Qatar with a similar scoreline.
The Young Socceroos failed to recover from a sixth minute strike by Vietnam’s Nguyen Quoc Viet with Morgan stressing that there is work to be done ahead of their game against Iran.