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Japan failed to reach Copa America 2019's quarter-final following draw against Ecuador

Japan failed to reach Copa America 2019's quarter-final following draw against Ecuador

The 1-1 draw against Ecuador in the last leg of Group C was not enough for Hajime Moriyasu's Japanese football team to enter the quarterfinals.

* Japan vs Ecuador: 1-1 (full time)

Goal scorer: Shoya Nakajima 15 '- Angel Mena 35'

According to experts in the 2019 Copa America, any team that wins in this match will go on as one of the two best-performing third teams. In contrast, the draw result makes them disqualified. Along with two points, the Japanese football team stood on the Ecuadorian football team in Group C thanks to a slight difference in goal difference (-4 vs. -5). But in fact the Asian team still lost this index compared to the third team Group B Paraguay football (-1).

Because the nature decides the ticket to go forward, the Japan vs Ecuador match starts with caution from the two teams. Ecuador demonstrates the superiority of the ball with strong downside shots but Japan is more calm in the middle of the field and holds the ball better. The first chance came to striker Enner Valencia, but he turned the ball into the corner of the box before he hit the bar.

The Japanese football team opened the scoring after a shot by Shoya Nakajima for Shinji Okazaki to break the offside trap. Goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez blocked the ball in Shinji Okazaki's foot but the ball bounced back to Shoya Nakajima. The kick of this midfielder overcomes the protection of the Ecuadorian defenders. The goal showed great tactical vision of Shoya Nakajima - a good player at Copa America this year.

However, the Japanese football team could not control the game after a lead. Their defense struggled with the downward speed of the Ecuador football team on the right. In such a situation, Angel Mena's cross shot gave Valencia a good chance but his close-range shot was too light to defeat goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima.

However, 10 minutes before the end of the first half, the Ecuador football team equalized thanks to Angel Mena. The goal came in a situation where Kawashima excellently blocked the volley from Robert Arboleda, but was powerless. The two teams entered the break with a draw.

Ecuador joined in better at the start of the second half but Japan almost regained the lead when Naomichi Ueda's header hit Dominguez's position. As for Ecuador, the most dangerous situation they created was a long-range shot from right-back Pedro Velasco.

Japanese players competed with the discharge, there were preventive moments in time before Ecuador's speed kick. But finally the Asian team did not have enough power to score more goals and had to accept the draw.