DUBAI – Japan suffered its first defeat at the World Youth Championships in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday in a 4-1 drubbing at the hands of Colombia in its second match in Group D.
Japan, which could not contain the South American forwards, remains on 3 points after its opening win against England and now needs to beat Egypt in its final match to guarantee qualification to the next stage.
Colombia has 4 points and is virtually assured a place in the next phase. Egypt, also on 4 points, beat England 1-0 in the day’s other match in the group.
Japan went close to opening the scoring after 18 minutes when Hiroto Mogi’s low skidding shot was well saved by Hector Landazuri.
But the South Americans gradually started to take control of the game and scored two goals shortly before halftime.
Jose de la Cuesta stole in at the far post between a group of Japanese defenders to backheel the ball home from a corner 10 minutes before the break, before Colombia doubled its lead on 42 minutes when Jaime Castrillon poked the ball over the diving body of Eiji Kawashima.
The Colombians found the net for a third time in the 65th minute when Aguilar fired home from six meters after Kawashima could only parry a free-kick.
Substitute Tatsuya Yazawa gave Japan hope when his center ended up in the far corner of the net in the 75th minute but Reinaldo Rueda’s men struck a final fatal blow as Rivas danced through and slotted home deep into stoppage time.
“We were not able to take the chances that fell our way and we will have to analyze this,” said Japan coach Kiyoshi Okuma after the match. “Colombia are a very strong side with pacy forwards and are a cut above England.”
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