AOKI'S LAST-GASP HELPS YOUNG JAPAN CHALLENGE THE WORLD
Young guns opened the gate of the world under water and dusk when Japan U-19 team shook off West giant Saudi Arabia U-19, 2-1, at Bangalore of India in the AFC Youth Championship. The Samurai Blue advanced to Semis against former Champ Korea Republic and clinched a ticket for FIFA World Youth Canada 2007, which had been also given the Korea, Jordan and DPR Korea.
Starting the 1st with falling rain, Japan caught first scoring chance from the right. Yosuke Kashiwagi's FK found Kazuhisa Kawahara's head to lead the game. Since it stopped raining midway through the 1st, the blue shirts still controlled the field while the green eleven couldn't approach the area just to challenge from shots outside the box or little set-plays, which was, however, acurate and dangerous.
Into the 2nd, Abdulaziz Aldawsari's spot kicks continued to give the Saudi some hints to equalize but were edged out by the eastern defence including the goalkeeper Akihiro Hayashi's savings. Meanwhile it was less than ten minutes to end when an Aldawsari quality ball forced a Japanease player's foul in their own box. Jufain Ali Albishi did the rest job to level.
I had ever seen it before in the country, Sree Kanteerava Stadium stopped giving some lightings to the two teams and the crowd in the way both finding a winner ending the game. Under hard to see plays, a substitute striker Kota Aoki fired through defenders and made it past Ahmed Dalah's hand in very ninety minutes.
I say VAMOS to young Japan being for the top of Asia!
AFC Youth Championship India 2006
Quarterfinals at Bangalore (7 Nov)
Japan 2-1 Saudi Arabia
*Japan Qualified FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007