4th Match 2010.2.11
On the 11th, Day 4 of the East Asian Football Championships 2010 Finals Competition was held in the midst of rain with Japan winning 3-0. With a record of 1 win, 1 draw means Japan are equal on points with China PR in first place. The final match day of the East Asian Football Championships is on the 14th with China PR set to play 4th placed Hong Kong-China and Japan to play 3rd placed Korea Rep.
The first match saw each of these teams finish goalless. As in the first match Hong Kong-China were without East Asian Football Championships 2010 Semi-finals Competition golden boot FW CHAN Siu Ki and MVP of that tournament, DF AMBASSA GUY Gerard started on the bench as they began with 5 different starting players and 6 players under 23. In their mid-field alone Japan had plenty of talent including last year’s AFC MVP MF ENDO Yasuhito and J-League MVP MF OGASAWARA Mitsuo and MF NAKAMURA Kengo who all controlled the ball well as the match got under way.
However, Japan were unable to break Hong Kong-China down and chances in front of goal were scarce due to centre backs NG Wai Chiu and CHAN Wai Ho who took care of the space in behind them and organized well. Japan were unable to capitalize on chances which fell to ENDO from a set piece, FW TAMADA Keiji’s chip and FW OKUBO Yoshito’s header. In the 20th minute a rebound from a right sided cross fell to NAKAMURA who struck a low shot from long range but this, along with a 32nd minute OGASAWARA right footed effort, was kept out by Hong Kong-China’s 19 year old GK YAPP Hung Fai.
“Hong Kong-China were defending well so there was nothing we could do but persevere” said OGASAWARA. Japan still couldn’t find a way to score but in the 41st minute they got the opening goal in a beautiful way. Following good work from TAMADA on the left side the ball was cleared from the penalty area by a Hong Kong-China defender. However TAMADA read this well and once more he had the ball at his feet. He struck right-footed a shot from a tight angle which flew into the unmanned net.
On the counter attack Hong Kong-China MF KWOK Kin Pong broke down the left and used his speed to start an attack but couldn’t beat the final defensive line. In the 50th minute MF XU Deshuai’s shot from a FK was on target but it couldn’t beat the Japanese defender on the line. Japan continued to press forward after the opening goal and straight after half time 190cm FW HIRAYAMA Sota was brought on. In the 51st minute NAKAMURA’s shot was saved well by the GK and didn’t result in a second goal but in the 61st minute OGASAWARA’s replacement MF INAMOTO Junichi was brought on and the double volante system was changed to a single volante as a more attacking rhythm started to build. Then in the 65th minute ENDO’s left CK was headed in by a leaping DF TANAKA Marcus Tulio to extend their lead. The Hong Kong-China defense had been broken down by a defender, TANAKA, pushing forward aggressively and by they switching of a volante, ENDO, in to a more attacking position. Then in the 82nd minute HIRAYAMA was involved in a goal mouth scramble which TAMADA got the final touch to as he scored the 3rd goal. Japan beat Hong Kong-China 3-0.
Hong Kong-China who had just one shot, move to two losses. The lone shooter, MF XU Deshuai said It was hard dealing with their speed” but on the other hand “We knew they were a better said so we focused on the defensive battle. We shouldn’t be too happy with how we played overall but it was an improvement on our last match versus Korea Rep.” Head coach KIM Pan Gon looked towards their final match saying “Our defense has improved. We want to score against China PR (having not scored for two consecutive matches).” As for Japan, two goal scorer FW TAMADA looked at the fixtures in the final round and summed it up succinctly saying “We have a chance to be champions. We have to concentrate and must win.” Japan were rewarded with their first win of the East Asian Football Championships.