Date: Thu. 21 July 2022 [16:16 (local time)]
Venue: Playa del Ingles, San Bartolome de Tirajana (Gran Canaria)
Japan Beach Soccer National Team 5 (3-2 1-3 1-2) 7 Portugal Beach Soccer National Team
02′ Goal against
04′ Goal against
08′ KAWAI Yusuke (Tokyo Verdy BS)
10′ KIBUNE Yuki (Averdade Kumamoto BS) *First goal in first national team appearance
11′ AKAGUMA Takuya (Lazo Apego Kitakyusyu)
01′ Goal against
04′ Goal against
11′ OBA Takaaki (Loewe Yokohama)
11′ Goal against
05′ Goal against
08′ AKAGUMA Takuya (Lazo Apego Kitakyusyu)
11′ Goal against
GK: KAWAI Yusuke
FP: MOREIRA Ozu, OBA Takaaki, ITO Ryunosuke, AKAGUMA Takuya
GK: MICHIHATA Shunsuke
FP: TANAKA Hayate, SAITO Gaiya, YAMADA Takahito, KIBUNE Yuki
The Japan Beach Soccer National Team, participating in the BSWW Mundialito Gran Canaria 2022 held in Gran Canaria, Spain, played their first match against the Portugal Beach Soccer National Team on 21 July.
Early in the match, Japan conceded back to-back goals after their opponents applied aggressive pressure on the ball during their build-ups from the goalkeeper. However, they gradually regained their composure and started to use their goalkeeper effectively to gain possession of the ball. In the eighth minute of the first period, goalkeeper KAWAI Yusuke (Tokyo Verdy BS) scored a goal by positioning himself high on the pitch and actively getting involved in the team’s offence, which had been identified as one of the key changes the team had made for this tournament. Two minutes later, KIBUNE Yuki (Averdade Kumamoto BS) converted a free kick to score his first international goal in his national team debut. With momentum on their side, Japan took the lead just before the end of the first period, when AKAGUMA Takuya (Lazo Apego Kitakyusyu) struck a diving header. Japan also tried to capitalise on their final play of the period, when Akaguma delivered a header to set up the bicycle shot of OBA Takaaki (Loewe Yokohama), which found the back of the net, but the goal did not stand, as the shot was taken after the whistle had been blown.
As in the first period, Japan gave up two early goals to their opponents in the second period to fall behind 3-4. In the 11th minute of the second period, Japan managed to equalise the match from a well-executed play initiated by the goalkeeper, a play they had been working on in their trainings, which led to the jumping volley struck by Oba. However, Portugal responded back with a superb free kick that captured the net, retaking the lead just before the end of the period.
For the third time in this match, Japan conceded the opening goal of the period, despite the defensive efforts made by TANAKA Hayate (Tokyo Verdy BS) and MOREIRA Ozu (Tokyo Verdy BS). Trailing by two goals, Akaguma converted a penalty kick he earned himself to make it 5-6, but after conceding another goal late in the period, Japan ended up losing the match 5-7.
The Japan Beach Soccer National Team will now face Spain on Friday 22 July (Saturday 23, Japan time).
FP #5 SAITO Gaiya (Sol Mar Praia Okinawa)
This was my debut match for the national team, and I was able to play in a different environment than usual, with a sense of urgency. Despite the tension and intensity of the game, I felt the need to keep my composure and deliver the best possible performance. I wasn’t able to contribute to the team in this match against Portugal, so I want to reset my mind and try to contribute to the team with a more aggressive approach in the remaining two matches.
FP #13 KIBUNE Yuki (Averdade Kumamoto BS)
I thought I would be quite nervous before the match, as it was my first time travelling abroad as a member of the national team and my first international tournament, but I felt like I was able to keep my composure and play my usual game. I was a bit nervous at the beginning of the match, but I was able to enjoy experience for the full 36 minutes, which helped me score and assist a goal in my first international cap. However, I am very disappointed that we lost the match. Despite the unfortunate start to the tournament, we still have two more matches to play, so we will reset our minds to prepare ahead of our next match against Spain. I know this match was played late at night in Japan, so we thank you for your support.
BSWW Mundialito Gran Canaria 2022
Tournament period: Thu. 21 – Sat. 23 July 2022