Japan lost to Iraq after penalty shoot-out… Dropped out of U-20 Asian Cup

 Japan was able to relax and was properly caught.

Japan knelt at the end of the penalty shootout after drawing 2-2 in the semifinals of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-20 Asian Cup held at JAR Stadium in Tashkent, Uzbekistan at 7:00 pm on the 15th. As a result, Iraq became the first team to advance to the finals of the tournament.

There was a big difference from the starting lists of both teams before the game. In Iraq, all of the main players sortied and announced an all-out war, but in Japan, Matsuki Guryu and Kumata Naoki, who were the key players in the attack, stood by on the bench. Even the main goalkeeper Ryoya Kimura was excluded from the selection.

The cost of being careless was high. Iraq took the lead in the 12th minute. In a corner kick situation, Ali Jassim scored the opening goal by pushing the ball with an exquisite header.

Since then, Iraq has dominated the game. Japan could have given up an extra goal if it had not been for the decisive defense of kicking the ball into the goal and the luck of Iraq’s shot hitting the post. Japan did not even record a proper shot throughout the first half.

Japan, in a hurry, used 3 replacement cards at the start of the second half. Matsuki, Kumata, and Eina all put in Takatora. Nevertheless, the frustrating flow continued, and Japan sent out Kitano Sota and Takahani Nico in the 23rd and 33rd minutes of the second half.

Japan missed a crucial opportunity. In the 34th minute of the second half, Kumata calmly bypassed the defense and shot, but the goalkeeper saved. Takai Gota’s header from the ensuing corner kick went slightly over the goal. 안전놀이터

Iraq could not hold out and conceded in the last 10 minutes. In the 38th minute of the second half, Einaga broke the defense with an exquisite left-footed dribble from the left side of the box and scored the equalizer with an accurate wind-up kick. After 90 minutes of play, both teams went into overtime.

Iraq could not escape in the 7th minute of extra time. The Japanese defense had a chance thanks to a mistake, but the first shot from inside the box was blocked by the opponent’s physical defense. Jashim’s decisive shot that followed went over the goal.

Iraq took the lead again. In the 13th minute of the first half of extra time, Jashim completely destroyed the left side with a wonderful dribble and sent a low and quick cross to the other side. Mohamed Jameil calmly pushed it in and made it 2-1.

Japan tied again at the end of the match. In the 13th minute of the second half of extra time, Einaga, who caught the ball from the right side, crossed into the box, and Kumata shot it straight to the head and split the net.

The final winner was Iraq. Japan’s second kicker, Sano Godai, tried to trick the goalkeeper with a hesitant step, but missed. On the other hand, Iraq won the penalty shoot-out 5-4 with all five kickers scoring goals. 

Iraq now competes with the winner between Korea and Uzbekistan for the championship trophy.