2015 Friendly Games
27 Jun 2015
Japan tuning-up before biggest test in 2 years
The Japanese and the United States squared off in two friendlies this week to help hone their skills
Japan will be participating in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Portugal 2015 from the 9th-19th of July and they need to make sure they are ready for the stiff competition. The United States will not participating in this years’ edition as they did not qualify but the chance to play a team of Japan’s quality is always welcome. Japan has qualified for every single FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup so the pressure to perform is always there, while the USA has a great track record, especially recently, at the crown jewel event for beach soccer, despite narrowly missing out this year at the CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championships El Salvador 2015.
The Nippon won the first match in extra time by a score of 5-3 as the US gave them more than a scare. Japan started the game a little nervous with the responsibility to play a good game in front of the home crowd supporters and the pressure became even greater when the Red, White, and Blue scored the first two goals. Japan scored the equalizer on a penalty kick from Odu but just after that, the USA found their way to the back of the net again with a goal from Martinez, leaving the score at 3-2 for the Stars and Stripes. The Japanese used a last minute goal to send the match into overtime, tied at 3-3. The hosts, Japan, played a perfect first two minutes in the extra frame and netted two quick goals, which would prove to be enough for the 5-3 win.
Japan took a different route in the second match, but they still came out on top, 4-1. Japan started the second match with an alternate attitude and they scored twice within the first five minutes, looking much more relaxed. Continuing with the power and concentration they had begun to display, the Blue Samurai were in complete control and scored again to take a 3-0 lead. The USA found the back of the onion bag in the middle of the 3rd period, scoring on a direct shot from their goalie, but Ozu delighted the fans with a great bicycle, putting the score at 4-1 for Japan. The result shows that the Japan is improving day by day and will be ready for the first game big challenge in Portugal against the hosts and the other 14 top nations from around the world.