Monday Sep 25, 2023

Japan’s U-20s already packing up after ‘second straight upset’…first group stage exit in 22 years

Japan’s U-20 national team has been knocked out of the World Cup group stage for the first time in 22 years.

The Tunisia U-20 football team fell 1-2 to Uruguay in their third match of Group E at the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2023 at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, Argentina on Monday (June 29). With one win and two losses, Tunisia is third in the group with three points (one goal difference).

Japan’s hopes of advancing to the round of 16 were dashed. A 1-2 come-from-behind loss to Israel in the third match of Group C on Aug. 28 was the final straw.

Japan was unable to defend its lead against Colombia and then against Israel. Japan took the lead in first-half stoppage time through Isa Sakamoto and extended their advantage in the 21st minute of the second half when an opponent was sent off, but conceded an equalizer in the 31st minute of the second half and a theater goal in stoppage time.

In the end, Japan ended the tournament in third place in Group C with three points (goal difference -1). This year’s tournament will see not only the first and second place teams, but also the top four teams in Group 3 qualify for the round of 16 as wildcards, but there are already four Group 3 nations with higher scores than Japan.

Group A runner-up New Zealand (4 points), Group B runner-up Slovakia (3 points, 1 goal difference), and Group D runner-up Nigeria (6 points) are all ranked higher than Japan. In addition, Group E’s third-place Tunisia (3 points, 1 goal difference) is also ahead of Japan on goal difference.

This pushes Japan out of the wild card race regardless of the rest of Group F results. It was their first group stage exit in 22 years since the 2001 tournament.

Japan’s Nikkan Sports said, “We had the highest goal in the world and called up the most overseas players ever, four, but we struggled. Before leaving the country, the team aimed to win the title, but the result was one win and two losses.” “The team also finished in the top four at the last Asian Cup. It has become a generation that has nothing to say when called to the valley.”안전놀이터

Meanwhile, the South Korean U-20 team, led by Kim Eun-joong, booked a spot in the round of 16. South Korea defeated France 2-0 in the first leg and drew 2-2 with Honduras in the second leg to finish second in Group F with four points.

They will now challenge for the top spot in the group in their final match against Gambia on the 29th, starting at 6am. Of course, South Korea can still finish second in the group or advance to the round of 16 as a wild card if they lose this match. However, if they finish third, they will face Brazil, the winner of Group D, so they will need to be vigilant in order to have a more comfortable draw.


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