• Kyodo


Japan’s Under-22 soccer team was held to its second scoreless draw in four days Sunday in a friendly against Uzbekistan.

Fagiano Okayama’s Shinya Yajima, who started in right midfield as a replacement for the injured Gakuto Notsuda, failed to convert chances as Japan wrapped up its two-match Middle East tour without a goal after going 0-0 against Yemen on Thursday.

“It’s frustrating that we can’t win and we’re not seeing results. The minds of the players are changing, but they need to become mentally tougher,” manager Makoto Teguramori said.

Arrangements are under way for the U-22 national team, now preparing for the Under-23 Asian Championships to be held next month in Qatar, to play another friendly with Vietnam in early January.

Japan will face Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Thailand in the group stage in Qatar. The top three teams in the Jan. 12-30 tournament featuring 16 teams will qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.