Japan exit the Asian Cup with two defeats: what does this mean for the Olympics?

The Under 23 Asian Cup has not been much fun for the East Asian sides and this was seen with Japan becoming the third East Asian country to exit the tournament on Monday. It is not good news for the side hosting the Olympics in the summer as they would hope to have a strong side to compete in Tokyo. 

Olympic worry 

The Olympics football tournament is basically an Under 23 tournament with just three 'overage' players allowed in the squad. With this in mind, the Under 23 Asian Cup was a perfect time to prepare the Japan side for the upcoming Olympics in their home country.

It was not to go to plan though for the national side as they lost their opening two matches in Group B. The lost to Saudi Arabia followed by Syria means that they have no chance of making the quarterfinal as they are faced with a tough challenge to get back up for the Olympics in just six months.

Japan will at least have their top under-23 talent in Tokyo not all of which have played a part in the Asian Cup. They will have the promising talent of Takefusa Kubo and Ritsu Doan to also call upon in July.

The early exit is a shock for Japan and Hajime Moriyasu has every reason to be worried about this side and where the goals are coming from. As in the matches with Saudi Arabia, Japan did create chances but over they did not finish the two games off and ended up losing both.

Chances but not the goals

For large amounts of the match with Syria Japan looked like they could come away with the three points. As after going a goal down on 9 minutes they fought back and were level on 30 minutes thanks to Yuki Soma who scored at the second time of asking.

Japan then kept the pressure up and looked to up the tempo but as I have said they couldn't find the killing touch and their opposition made them pay for this. It was seen as Syria won the game 2-1 thanks to an 88th-minute winner from Alaa Al Dali.

Then despite the changes from the opening match defeat Japan could not overturn the fortunes and exit with a game to go.

After the match the Japan manager had this to say;
It was a disappointing result that I did not want. I want young players to learn through these two matches. 

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