ZIBO, China (Kyodo) Japan missed an Under-20 World Cup berth for the second time in a row after a 3-2 loss to South Korea in the quarterfinals of the Asian U-19 Championship on Monday.
Japan raced to a 2-0 lead on two goals by Hiroshi Ibusuki through the first 30 minutes but conceded three before halftime at Linzi Stadium in Shandong Province.
“Their forwards were better than we had expected,” Japan captain Mitsunari Musaka said. “We couldn’t really play well against them.”
South Korea, 11-time Asian U-19 champions, qualified for the U-20 World Cup in Colombia next year.
South Korea also knocked Japan out of the same regional championship two years ago with a 3-0 quarterfinal win.
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