U.S. Comes from behind to Beat Japan, 2-1, in Milwaukee
MILWAUKEE (Sept. 14, 2008) - Two second half goals from Jamar Beasley spurred the U.S. National Futsal Team to a comeback victory over Japan on Sunday at the Kern Center. The win was the perfect send off for Keith Tozer's side, who will travel to Rio de Janeiro on Sept. 24 ahead of the FIFA Futsal World Cup, and concluded an undefeated weekend for the team in Milwaukee.
"I was really happy about our team defense today. We gave up only one goal and score two really nice goals," said Tozer, whose team finished 3-0-1 on the weekend. " We stayed positive, we didn't panic and waited for our opportunities to come. This was a big victory and it gives us some confidence with the 10 days off before we go to Brazil."
The U.S.' high pressure caused Japan problems on Friday, and the Americans wasted no time in taking the game to their opponents once more. Kensuke Takahashi was booked for a foul in the 1st minute, and Japan would enter foul trouble early on in the half as they attempted to contain the United States.
The first notable chance came in the 9th minute and it fell to the U.S. captain, Denison Cabral. A great pass from Ptah Myers released Sandre Naumoski down the left wing for the U.S. Naumoski evaded the goalkpeer and squared for Cabral, but the forward blazed over the goal from close range.
The U.S. continued to have the better of the exchanges, and in the 14th minute, Beasley came close to giving his side the lead. A lofted through ball found Beasley in space, and his chip with the outside of his foot beat the onrushing Hisao Sadanaga before caroming back off the woodwork.
Japan had their first major chance of the opening period soon after. Daisuke Ono's shot from eight meters out took a wicked deflection that brought the best out of U.S. goalkeeper Nick Vorberg, whose acrobatic kick save kept the score knotted at zero.
Accumulated foul trouble almost came back to bite Japan late in the first half when the U.S. was awarded two direct free kicks in quick succession. On the first, Chile Farias blasted his effort wide of Sadanaga's goal, and on the second attempt, Pat Morris was denied by the flailing Japanese 'keeper.
The save galvanized the visitors, and just before the break they had their best chance of the game. Japan's lightning quick counterattack caught the U.S. off guard, and Kenichiro Kogure and Kensuke Takahashi played a delightful combination to release Kogure in behind the defense. Again Vorberg was called upon, and he did well to deny Kogure on the breakaway.
Kogure and Takahashi, who both play professionally in Spain, were unavailable for Friday's game against the U.S. and just arrived in the Japanese camp yesterday. However, their quality was apparent, and early in the second half, Kogure was the architect of the game's first goal.
In the 26th minute, Japan put together a patient attacking move that culminated in Kogure feeding Yuki Kanyama in the center of the court. Kanayama took one touch before firing into the roof of the net from ten yards out to give Japan the lead. The advantage was just reward for the visitors, who had rattled the U.S. with their excellent possession in the early second half.
However, the U.S. response was admirable, and five minutes later they were level. Friday night's draw saw the U.S. score twice from set pieces and on Sunday they were at it again. From a free kick, Denison Cabral's low pass was dummied by Pat Morris before it reached Beasley at the far post. The play completely fooled the Japanese defense, and Beasley was left with a simple tap in to level the score.
"It was a play that we use a lot, where we overload one side," said Beasley, who earned Sierra Mist Man of the Match Honors for his performance. "[Morris] dummied the pass and I was right behind the goalie, just like Coach Tozer drew it up. We executed it really well"
Late in the game, Japan was not content to sit on the draw and elected to bring out a fifth attacker with minutes to go. The move almost payed dividends in the 36th minute, when Kotaro Inaba turned his defender before unleashing a shot that deflected off Andy Roseenband and off the U.S. crossbar.
Eventually the extra attacker gamble would come back to haunt Japan, and in the 38th minute, the U.S. capitalized. A turnover in the U.S. area brought a counter attack that left the Japanese out of position. Morris was able to square the ball to Beasley who finished past the despairing Rikanado Higa.
The goal was Beasley's second of the game, and it provided the U.S. with a deserved win at the end of an exciting weekend in Milwaukee. Next up for the U.S. National Futsal Team, is the announcement of the roster for the FIFA World Cup. On Monday, Sept. 15, Keith Tozer will unveil the squad that will travel to Brazil later this month. The U.S. has been drawn into Group B with along with Italy, Portugal, Thailand and Paraguay.
Overall, the games over the weekend provided the perfect buildup to the U.S.' departure for Brazil.
"With all the games and all the fans here cheering us on, this weekend has been a big boost for us," said Beasley, "from here we're just going to keep moving forward."
-- U.S. National Futsal Team Game Report --
Match-up: USA vs. Japan
Date: September 14, 2008
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Kern Center – Milwaukee, Wis.
Kickoff: 1 p.m. CT
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
JPN 0 1 1
JPN - Yuki Kanayama (Kenichiro Kogure) 26th minute
USA – Jamar Beasley (Denison Cabral) 31st minute
USA – Jamar Beasley (Pat Morris) 38th minute
USA: 1-Nick Vorberg (GK), 6-Chile Farias, 11-Matthew Stewart, 14-Joe Hammes, 18-Mike Apple
Subs: 2-Jamar Beasley, 3-Brett Wiesner, 4-Sandre Naumoski, 5-Denison Cabral (capt.), 7-Dan DeGeer, 9-Ptah Myers, 10-Matt Hatzke, 13-Andy Roseband, 17-Pat Morris
Head Coach: Keith Tozer
JPN: 12-Hisao Sadanaga (GK), 4-Yusuke Komiyama, 8-Kenta Fujii (capt.), 11-Kotaro Inaba, 13-Kensuke Takahashi
Subs: 2-Yoshifumi Maeda, 3-Wataru Kitahara, 5-Rikanado Higa, 6-Nobuya Osodo, 7-Yuki Kanayama, 9-Daisuke Ono, 10-Kenichiro Kogure, 1-Hisamitsu Kawahara (GK),
Head Coach: Sergio Sapo
Stats Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 25 / 25
Shots on Goal: 9 / 13
Saves: 10 / 7
Corner Kicks: 6 / 5
Fouls: 9 / 12
JPN – Kensuke Takahashi 1st minute
JPN – Rikanado Higa 8th minute
Referee: Jason Krnak
2nd Referee: Shane Butler
Scorer: Dan Beame
Timekeeper: Tom Mesal
Sierra Mist Man of the Match: Jamar Beasley