Normally, Japan would easily navigate through a tie against Malaysia without too much problem, however, in the Asian Games Japan have only sent their under 21 sides and Malaysia have proved to be a better team than anyone gives them credit for before the start of the competition.
If this Malaysian side gets a good shot at developing then they might have a good chance of getting some good results in the World Cup qualifying when it rolls around again early next year. They can’t do any worse than the last World Cup qualifying where Malaysia got taken apart and lost by 10 goals or something against UAE.
At the Asian Games, Malaysia managed to defeat a South Korea side that contained a handful of their World Cup players, so Japan has done well to win against a tricky opponent for teams to play against in this competition so far. Japan though had to rely on a penalty to help them win the game 1-0, but they still had chances throughout but couldn’t convert any…other than the pen of course.
Japan has sent an under 21 team
Japan has sent an under 21 team to play in the Asian Games even though the competition states that all sides are under 23 teams. The reason for this is because they want to prepare for the 2022 Tokyo Olympics, and it is presumed the team they select for that will roughly be the same as this one.
Japanese sides at every side perform very well, especially in the Asian region so giving the younger side the chance to play against older opposition will only do them the world of good when it comes to playing at a senior level in the future.
Even though they’re an under 21 side, Japan will still have a shot at winning the whole thing
It would be stupid to write Japan off in any Asian competition as they are one of the strongest teams coming from Asia. They have done brilliantly in Asian Cups for example, and are the country with the most Asian Cup wins in history.
There is just something about the Japanese national side at every level, no matter who they play against they always have a determination and fighting spirit that drives them to fight until the end for the victory. They will be pushing all the way to win this competition without a doubt. The majority of games Japan have played so far in this competition have been tight affairs, but the Japanese youngsters have still come out on top in them all, and that is the sign of a team that could win any tournament especially one that is grinding out results. So you’d be a fool to write Japan off just because they’re younger than most teams in the Asian Games.