East Asia Japan

Japan kick-start U-20 World Cup campaign with victory

Japan came from behind and claimed all three points in a 2-1 win over South Africa at Suwon World Cup Stadium in Group D of the 2017 U-20 FIFA World Cup.

Grant Margeman opened the scoring for South Africa in the seventh minute when he deftly controlled a high through-ball in the box before firing past goalkeeper Ryosuke Kojima.

Both sides created goal-scoring chances throughout the first half, but their end products were not good enough.

Japan came out firing on all cylinders in the second half and scored just a few minutes in.

Koki Ogawa showed his ability in the box and finished a cross from the Japanese left. Mondi Mpoto got his hands to the ball, but not before it had crossed the line.

Japan then completed their comeback in style thanks to Ritsu Doan, who curled a shot beyond Mpoto’s reach into the far corner after some well-worked build-up play with teammate Takefusa Kubo.

The young Samurais are now top of Group D after their first victory. Uruguay U-20 are second in the group, while South Africa U-20 and Italy U-20 are third and fourth, respectively.