Japan unable to turn ball possession into goals in draw with China


Japan were forced to a goalless draw with China after failing to capitalize on the lion’s share of possession in their East Asian Football Federation E-1 Championship clash on Sunday.

Hajime Moriyasu’s squad of national players played throughout the competition at Toyota Stadium but were toothless in front of goal.

The hosts did little to disturb Chinese keeper Han Jiaqi before the break, although they spent most of the first half camped around the opposition penalty area.

Mao Hosoya fended off a chance for Japan early in the second half, blazing over the crossbar from close range. Kashiwa striker Reysol fired another shot straight at Han following a promising build up from the men in blue.

Japan’s Mao Hosoya reacts after fending off a chance in the second half of a goalless draw with China in their East Asian Football Federation E-1 Championship clash at Toyota Stadium on 24 July 2022. (Kyodo)

In a rare occasion for the visitors, defender Zhu Chenjie let Japan off the hook by shooting over the bar from a free kick.

Japan made repeated incursions into the Chinese zone late in the game but lacked a finishing touch.

The Samurai Blue opened the tournament with a 6-0 win over Hong Kong at Kashima Stadium last Tuesday. They will face undefeated South Korea in their final round robin game at Toyota Stadium on Wednesday.

Paulo Bento’s Taegeuk Warriors beat Hong Kong 3-0 earlier on Saturday to make it two wins from two.

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