【Match Report】Japan Beach Soccer National Team play USA for the title

Date: Sat. 23 July 2022 [16:15 (local time)]
Venue: Playa del Ingles, San Bartolome de Tirajana (Gran Canaria)

Japan Beach Soccer National Team 0 (0-1, 0-0, 0-1) 2 USA Beach Soccer National Team

7′ Goal against
8′ Goal against

Starting Line-up
GK: KAWAI Yusuke

FP: TANAKA Hayate, SAITO Gaiya, YAMADA Takahito, ITO Ryunosuke

Match Report

In the final match of the tournament against the USA, Japan fielded the same starting line-up as their previous match against Spain.

Defensively, the team responded tenaciously by making the shift to their opponents’ 2-2 system, but conceded the opener in the seventh minute, when OBA Takaaki (Loewe Yokohama) was stripped with the ball after being pressured by three opponents. In offence, Japan deployed their own 2-2 system to create chances, including the shot taken by goalkeeper KAWAI Yusuke (Tokyo Verdy BS), but fell short from scoring the equaliser in the first period.

Japan continued to seek opportunities from their 2-2 formation, as Kawai actively took shots from behind, while AKAGUMA Takuya (Lazo Apego Kitakyusyu) made attempts with his bicycle shots, but failed to find the back of the net, as both sides finished the second period scoreless.

In the third period, Japan created number of opportunities to take shots, only to see their attempts getting blocked, as the American side gave very little space to work with in front of the goal. Despite the superb saves made by Kawai, Japan conceded the second goal in the eighth minute of the period.

One final opportunity was created in the closing minutes, when Akaguma earned a penalty, but his attempt was denied by the goal post, as the match ended 2-0 in favour of the USA.

As a result, Japan finished the tournament in fourth place with a record of one win and two losses. Akaguma was the top scorer with seven goals in three matches.

Players’ Comments

GK #1 KAWAI Yusuke (Tokyo Verdy BS)
This year, we entered this tournament with a number of young players, but I feel like we were able to take a step in the right direction, when considering the future of Japanese beach football community. Although we finished fourth, I think we got more than the result may suggest. It was quite a valuable experience, as all the competing countries had different styles of play, so we had to change how we approached each match, which kept us in contention until the end. While this tournament made us realise the gap with the rest of the world, it gave us new challenges and a sense that we are making forward progress towards the next World Cup.

FP #6 AKAGUMA Takuya (Lazo Apego Kitakyusyu)
We still had a chance to win the tournament with a win over the USA, so this was a very important match for us, but we ended up losing without scoring a single goal. We were able to what we had been trying to do, but I felt that we needed to be more creative and make better adjustments according to our opponents. We showed a strong desire to win, but perhaps our opponents wanted it more. It was evident throughout the tournament that we need to work harder and compete at a higher level, both mentally and technically. With many young players being selected in this squad, I think this tour provided a wonderful learning experience for the young players. However, in order to make this tour a success, each player needs to make the most of this experience to improve themselves and to raise the overall level of the national team. I personally was reminded that I need to become a player that can score goals when it matters the most. I will train hard to improve myself once I return to Japan. Thanks to my teammates, I was able to become the top scorer in this tournament. It was my first time becoming a top scorer, so I was very happy for that, but at the same time disappointed that we couldn’t win the title. Next time, I will do my best to help the team win the Asian qualifiers while I win the top scorer as an individual. Finally, I would like to thank everyone involved in the tournament for allowing us to play despite the increasing number of cases of COVID-19. I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to all of our fans and supporters.

BSWW Mundialito Gran Canaria 2022

Tournament period: Thu. 21 – Sat. 23 July 2022

Tournament Information