Japan National U-16 Team, so-called “00 Japan”, started their COPA UC 2016 campaign on Wednesday 14 by drawing to U-17 UNIVERSIDAD CATOLICA.
The opponents are one of the best clubs in Chile, winning countless domestic youth championships. According to the tournament regulations, the U-17 players of the club are participating this time.
The match was held right after the tournament’s opening ceremony. In the great environment with almost 800 fans in attendance including a large group of Japanese supporters, the U-16 Japan squad kicked off their first match.
For ’00 Japan’, it was the first official international match since they lost to Iraq in the semi-final of the AFC U-16 Championship India 2016. Despite the fatigue from a long trip from home, the squad, especially their frontline, displayed some impressive football.
The opponents composedly moved the ball around and showed their toughness and physicality time to time to dodge Japan’s pressure and prevented the Japanese side from creating chances. As they gradually started to control the match, a passing mistake by Japan in the 13th minute led to a threatening pass into the space behind their defenders.