SAN PEDRO DEL PINATAR, Spain (March 25, 2019)—The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team defeated Japan 2-1 in its final international match before this summer's FIFA U-20 World Cup. Andrew Carleton scored just after the half and Christian Cappis netted the game-winner in the 75th minute.
Earlier this week, the USA came from behind to draw France 2-2, with Cappis scoring the equalizer in stoppage time. Cappis’ two goals in Spain are his first at the U-20 level, and both came at critical junctures.
The U-20 MNT will next gather for the 2019 U-20 World Cup, kicking off against Ukraine on May 24 before facing Nigeria on May 27 and Qatar on May 30 to round out Group D play.
Japan did well in possession in the game’s early-going and was quick up the field in transition. While Japan strung together some nice offensive sequences, the U.S. back line did well to clear away a number of dangerous crosses into the box and held Japan scoreless heading into the break.
On the other end, Konrad de la Fuente provided an attacking spark for the USA on the right wing, beating defenders one-on-one, but Japan cleared away his attempted crosses. While the USA attack created some moments of danger, no clear cut chances came to fruition in the first half.
Buoyed by a wave of substitutions, the U.S. came out of the break more aggressively. Its efforts on the press were rewarded in the 50th minute, when Andrew Carleton netted the game’s opening goal. High pressure forced a Japanese turnover and the USA struck quickly in transition. The ball fell to Jonathan Amon on the right wing, and he hit Carleton in stride near the top of the box, where the Atlanta United midfielder rolled a hard shot past goalkeeper Shu Mogi.
Japan pushed for an equalizer following the goal and after some dangerous periods of possession in the USA’s defensive third, scored a tying goal from of a set piece in the 63rd. Awarded a free kick near the corner, Japan put a ball into the box and Rei Hirakawa stuck it in the back of the net at the near post.
The U.S. dictated the tempo following the goal and made a number of dangerous forays into the final third. During an extended spell in Japan’s end, Sebastian Soto got the ball in the box and did well to maintain possession before dishing to Cappis near the top corner. There, the Denmark-based midfielder ripped a shot to the left side for the game-winning goal.
The U-20s produced a number of additional opportunities down the final stretch while holding stout against Japan’s last gasp effort for an equalizer in the game’s final minutes.
- U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team Match Report -
Match: U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team vs. Japan
Date: March 25, 2019
Competition: International Friendly
Venue: Pinatar Arena; San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain
Kick-off: 7 a.m. ET (12 p.m. local)
Weather: 67 degrees, sunny
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
USA 0 2 2
JPN 0 1 1
USA – Andrew Carleton (Jonathan Amon) 50th minute
JPN – Rei Hirakawa 63
USA – Christian Cappis (Sebastian Soto) 75
USA: 1-Trey Muse, 2-Jaylin Lindsey (23-Sergino Dest, 79), 5-Aboubacar Keita (13-Chris Gloster, 46), 4-Chris Richards, 3-Matthew Real, 10-Juan Pablo Torres (14-Chris Durkin, 46), 6-Christian Cappis, 8-Alex Mendez (15-Frankie Amaya, 70), 7-Konrad de la Fuente (17-Jonathan Amon, 46), 9-Ayo Akinola (capt.) (16-Sebastian Soto, 46), 11-Ulysses Llanez (20-Andrew Carleton, 46)
Subs not used: 12-CJ Dos Santos
Head Coach: Tab Ramos
JPN: 12-Shu Mogi, 16-Ryotarro Tsunoda, 17-Takuya Ogiiwara, 3-Yuki Kobayashi, 21-Takumi Nakamuua, 13-Yuta Taki, 19-Reii Hiriakawa, 6-Hinata Kida, 18-Kok Saito, 9-Taichi Hara, 22-Soromon Sakuragawa
Subs: 1-Keisuke Osako, 4-Toichi Suzuki, 5-Yukinari Suguwara, 7-Hirokii Ito, 8-Kanya Fujimoto, 10-Hirroki Abe, 11-Taisei Miysashiro, 15-Ayumu Seko, 20-Jun Nishikawa
Head Coach: Masanaga Kageyama
Statistical Summary: USA / JPN
Shots: 3 / 7
Shots on Goal: 6 / 2
Saves: 1 / 4
Corner Kicks: 3 / 6
Fouls: 13 / 13
USA – Jaylin Lindsey (caution) 38th minute
USA – Christian Cappis (caution) 60
Referee: Kevin Javier Morreno Munoz