On March 28, Japan played Colombia in the Kirin Challenge Cup, losing 1-2.
Japan played Uruguay to a 1-1 draw on March 24. In the match against Colombia, Kaoru Mitoma opened the scoring in the 3rd minute when he headed home a cross from the right by Hidemasa Morita.
However, a momentary lapse in possession allowed John Hadel Duran to head home Dabel Machado’s cross from the right flank in the 33rd minute.
In the 61st minute, Rafael Santos-Boré put Japan back in front with a bicycle kick.
Ayase Ueda, who came on as a midfielder, threatened the Colombian goal but could not score. The game ended 1-2, and the first win for the new Moriyasu Japan team was not to be.
Japan’s team score: “5”
Japan’s early efforts were good, with Mitoma scoring the first goal early in the match. The high press from the front was effective, and the possession was not bad, with Morita and Daichi Kamada playing the central roles.
However, they were unable to win the game, and after losing the equalizer to a revitalized opponent, their performance declined, perhaps because they were discouraged.
Ueda failed to score a decisive goal, Ritsu Doan and Takefusa Kubo, who were expected to do so, were not as enthusiastic as they should have been, and the substitutions did not work. The team should have been determined to win, but unexpectedly suffered an upset loss.
Only Mitoma and Morita scored more than satisfactory points, and I have to be harsh in my assessment of the players across the board.