Japan exit the Copa America

Japan's time at the Copa America came to an end today but overall it was a positive experience after the disastrous start. The team will take great confidence am sure from this experience as the side that started the final match had an average age of 24. A number that would be far lower too if you take away 36-year-old Kawashima and 33-year-old Okazaki. 

Going in the right direction  

On Tuesday at the Estádio Governador Magalhães Pinto stadium in Brazil Japan drew 2-2 with Ecuador to end their Copa America campaign with just the one defeat. One player who is in Japan's full squads Ritsu Dōan of FC Groningen with 11 caps to his name said this on the match "(asked if he watched the game) "Yes, of course" he went on to add "I'm really sad. The team was fighting hard until the end like a Japanese side, I felt inspired watching."

It is clear then that the more senior players who will be involved during Moriyasu World Cup qualifiers are impressed with the next generation.

How the match went 

Japan went into the match having only scored two goals in the opening to matches of the tournament. This was seen with the side losing 4-0 to Chile and gaining a 2-2 draw with Uruguay. 

On to the match with Ecuador, the side knew they had to win and hope Chile won incidentally both didn't happen. The team did well though and led for 20 minutes as they took the lead on 15 minutes from Shoya Nakajima. The highly-rated midfielder who currently plays for Al Duhail in Qatar continues to attract interest. 

Mena did score on 35 minutes for the South Americans however to draw level and that was to be that for the match and both countries time at the competition. 

The team did well and improved after losing by four to Chile in the opening match. The team looked to work well together and will grow from this experience. Next up for most of the side will be the Tokyo Olympics next summer was am sure they will impress on home soil.

Captain Gaku Shibasaki seemed fairly happy too as the Getafe 27-year-old went on to say "The performances each match improved and that was not just seen by me but by the media, and we have to grow this as a great asset. I think that it is a generation that could come to be better than our present generation, and I think that it will also be connected to the togetherness of the group that such competitiveness gives birth. I think that it is impossible to win unless there are players who can deliver the same level of performance no matter who plays out of the 23(players in the squad)."

One last thing to be mentioned in Japan is no talk of the new generation would be complete without a mention for Real Midired new man Takefusa Kubo. The young 18-year-old did not look out of place at all.

Some of his movement on the ball was very good also and am sure in years to come he will have many a fan of their seat in excitement.

The confidence in the youngster is there too as he said "I thought that dribbling from the front and fast-tempo runs would be possible but actually it was not as I expected. I think it's good to be confident though."

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