After an intriguing start with their first win, the Japan Under-17 National Team slipped to third place in their group, unable to get past Argentina, one of South American soccer’s two great mountain ranges, along with Brazil.
Japan fell 1-3 to Argentina in their second match of Group D at the FIFA U-17 World Cup on Thursday afternoon (July 14) at the Cisalat Harupat Stadium in Bandung, Indonesia.
After opening with a 1-0 victory over Poland, Japan is now level with Argentina on 1-1-1 and three points, but drops to third place on goal difference (Argentina +1, Japan -1). Senegal moved into first place with a 4-1 win over Poland, its second straight victory (six points). Poland remains in last place with two losses.
The final matches are Senegal-Japan and Argentina-Poland. If Japan loses or ties to Senegal and Argentina beats Poland, they will not qualify directly for the Round of 16. The top four teams will have to fight for the three round of 16 tickets.
Japan has Yutaka Michiwaki (Kumamoto) up front. Michiwaki had an assist on the winning goal against Poland. The forward has made 18 appearances in Japan’s J2 League (second division) this season.
For Argentina, Claudio Echeverri (River Plate) orchestrates the entire attacking second line. The attacking midfielder came up through the ranks of Argentina’s prestigious River Plate and made four appearances for the senior team this year.
Argentina scored first. In the fifth minute of the first half, Echeverri found the back of the net. He stepped up to take a free-kick opportunity in the center of midfield and delivered a right-footed kick for the opening goal. It was about 29 meters from the goal, but the goalkeeper couldn’t get a hand on it and conceded. The trajectory of the kick was an art form in itself.
Buoyed by the momentum, Argentina pressed Japan at a higher tempo and three minutes later, Valentino Acuña (Newell’s Old Boys) added a second goal. After breaking down the right flank of the penalty area, Santiago Lopez (Independiente) dropped a low pass for Acuña to slot home with his left foot. Lopez’s darting run and Acuña’s accuracy with his shot were outstanding.
After going into halftime down 0-2, Japan found the equalizer five minutes into the second half. Shotaro Shibata played a ball in from near the right endline, and Rento Tagaoka scored with a right-footed volley from the center of the goal area. Tagaoka ran with the ball to encourage his teammates.
The tight one-goal game would be extended for eight of the 10 minutes of overtime. After a loose ball got Argentina close to the arc, Agustin Roberto (River Plate) took a pass from Dylan Gorossito and found an unguarded gap on the right side of the arc, where he slotted home a right-footed shot to seal the win. It was a missed opportunity for Japan, who had pushed forward in search of an equalizer.
In Group C, England came from behind to win 2-1 against Iran at the Jakarta National Stadium in Jakarta. The Three Lions are in first place with two games to play, while Iran is third on goal difference (Brazil +8, Iran 0) after Brazil thrashed New Caledonia 9-0.
Iran’s Abolfazl Moreidi scored the opening goal. In the 31st minute, Morehadi slotted home a loose ball from a corner kick. Given Iran’s tenacious style of soccer, a goal was likely to make things difficult for England.
However, England changed the tone with a late substitution. Lacey-Alexander Russell-Denny (Chelsea), who came on in the 14th minute, tied the game in the 18th minute with a left-footed ground ball from the center of the top arc after a two-on-one pass 스포츠토토 between Metty Warhurst (Manchester City) and the defense. It went into the left corner of the net and was difficult for the goalkeeper to stop, even with her body.
The final goal came in the 45th minute. Joel Ndala (Manchester City) made the save. A sloppy ball-handling error by the Iranian goalkeeper led to the goal. The keeper came out to collect a loose ball that the defense failed to handle, and Ndala slotted it home to end the game.