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Saturday, 14 June 2008

Maya and Keisuke Impress for U-23s

Grampus defender Maya Yoshida and former Grampi, Keisuke Honda put in good displays in Japan U-23's 0-0 draw with Cameroon U-23s. Yoshida looked solid against strong, tall opponents, whilst Honda saw a free kick whistle past a post and setup one of Japan's best chances in the second half; a quickly released pass to send Lee clear through the middle.

Japan U-23
Japan—Shusaku Nishikawa
Hiroki Mizumoto, Yusuke Tanaka, Masato Morishige (Masahiko Inoha
82), Maya Yoshida
Takuya Honda(Toshihiro Aoyama, 87), Hiroyuki Taniguchi (Escudero 76), Yohei Kajiyama (Kota Ueda 76), Keisuke Honda
Tsukasa Umesaki (Koki Mizuno 67), Takayuki Morimoto (Tadanari Lee, 63)

Cameroon U-23
Joslain Mayebi
Georges Ndoum (Franck Patrick Njanbe 81), Alexis Enam Mendomo,
Nikolas Nkoulou, Guy Bertrand Madjo (Christian Bekamenga HT)、Antonio Ghomsi
Etienne Pokong (Serge Ngal 63), Georges Mandjeck, Albert Baning (Henri Ewane HT)
Guillaume Kendo (Marc Mboua 53), Benjamin Moukannjo (Alan Junior Olle Olle HT)

However, despite the team putting in a good performance against a useful-looking Cameroon side, this game still leaves manager Sorimachi with a few headaches. As has generally been the case for this team, the defense looked solid, and the midfield displayed talent and promise without managing to gel to become greater than a collection of talented individuals. As always, the problem is up front with Morimoto and Ri both failing to score from good chances. Morimoto, in particular, being guilty of putting an easy chance wide of the post with the goal at his mercy. This means that despite a good performance, Yoshida cannot be sure of a place in Beijing. After-all, he will still be only 23 come the London Olympics in 2012, and the team needs to improve its attacking options, not its defense. I would certainly expect to see Sorimachi use his over age quota to bolster the attack with the likes of Yoshito Okubo etc.

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