Over the mountain, Japan faces a tougher test after upset loss to Colombia
Japan came from behind to defeat Colombia 2-1 in their second Group C match of the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in La Plata, Argentina on Friday (July 25).
After a 1-0 win over Senegal in the first round, the loss dropped Japan to 1-1-1 with three points and second place. Israel (1 point) and Senegal (1 point) drew 1-1 on the same day. In Group C, two-time winners Colombia (6 points) clinched a spot in the round of 16 early. Japan was on the cusp of advancing to the round of 16 or being eliminated from the group. If they lost their final match against Israel and Senegal beat Colombia, they would drop to fourth in the group and be eliminated.
Spillover, Japan would have to travel long distances to play the final. After playing Games 1 and 2 in La Plata, Argentina’s capital city of Buenos Aires, Japan will face Israel on Aug. 28 in Mendoza. Mendoza is located in the foothills of the Andes Mountains, about 1,000 kilometers from La Plata. South Korea, which is also competing in the tournament, will play all three of its group games at the Mendoza Stadium. They won their first Group F match against France 2-1.먹튀검증
Japan U-20 coach Koichi Togashi said, “We have to travel on the 8 a.m. flight tomorrow morning. It’s important to be in good physical condition.”
Japan took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Riku Yamane scored from the right corner in the 30th minute. However, Japan equalized eight minutes into the second half through Yacer Aspiriya and then gave up the game-winner through Thomas Angel in the 14th minute. They were awarded a penalty in the 38th minute for a handball in the box, but Matsuki’s shot hit the crossbar. The match ended 2-1 in favor of Colombia.
“The first goal may have been unavoidable, but the second one was painful to concede in that time frame,” said Togashi.