Last Update 22:22
Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Japan, Uruguay draw after new VAR controversy

AFP , Friday 21 Jun 2019
Soccer Football - Copa America Brazil 2019 - Group C - Uruguay v Japan - Arena Do Gremio, Porto Alegre, Brazil - June 20, 2019 Uruguay's Luis Suarez in action REUTERS
Views: 735
Views: 735

Two goals from Koji Miyoshi helped Japan secure a hard-earned point in a 2-2 draw with Uruguay at the Copa America on Thursday.

Miyoshi twice fired Japan into the lead only for Uruguay to level through a controversial penalty from Luis Suarez and a second-half header from Jose Gimenez.

The draw means Japan have an outside chance of reaching the quarter-finals from Group C, with one game remaining against Ecuador.

Uruguay, who trounced Ecuador in their opening game, missed the chance to make certain of their place in the last eight against a Japan team who had been trounced 4-0 by Chile in their opening game.

Japan had been let down by poor finishing in their defeat to Chile, but were a different proposition at the Arena do Gremio as coach Hajime Moriyasu range the changes in his starting line-up.

Former Leicester City striker Shinji Okazaki started alongside Hiroki Abe up front as Moriyasu relegated Ayase Ueda and Takefusa Kubo to the bench.

Miyoshi meanwhile provided attacking thrust in a new-look Japanese midfield.

Abe created a half-chance on 10 minutes but Okazaki was unable to control his attempted header and flashed his effort high and wide.

Uruguay meanwhile always looked threatening going forward, with the strikeforce of Edinson Cavani and Luis Suarez causing problems for the Japanese back four.

Cavani almost created the opening goal for Suarez in the 12th minute, working a one-two with Diego Godin before crossing for Suarez.

The Barcelona star however could only direct his chance at goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, who gathered safely.

Naomichi Ueda then had a half-chance for Japan at the other end but his glancing header from a free-kick was easily saved.

With Uruguay's defence looking uncharacteristically vulnerable, Japan took the lead on 25 minutes when a long diagonal pass from Gaku Shibasaki sent Miyoshi racing clear.

The 22-year-old Yokohama F. Marinos midfielder still had plenty to do, but ghosted to the byline before smashing into the roof of the net from a tight angle.

But Japan's joy was short-lived as Uruguay were gifted an equaliser with a VAR-assisted penalty four minutes later.

There appeared to be no question of a foul after Cavani and Ueda came together in the penalty area with the Uruguayan striker stretching to reach a pass.

But VAR ruled that Ueda had fouled Cavani prompting Colombian referee Andres Rojas to point to the spot.

Suarez stepped up to convert and Uruguay were level.

Cavani almost gave Uruguay the lead in the 36th minute with 25-yard rocket that crashed off the bar but Japan reached the break level.

The second half saw Uruguay gradually get on top but yet another incisive break from Japan led to Miyoshi grabbing his second to make it 2-1 in the 59th minute.

Again though Uruguay were quick to respond, Gimenez heading in Nicolas Lodeiro's cross in the 66th minute to make it 2-2.


Short link:


Ahram Online welcomes readers' comments on all issues covered by the site, along with any criticisms and/or corrections. Readers are asked to limit their feedback to a maximum of 1000 characters (roughly 200 words). All comments/criticisms will, however, be subject to the following code
  • We will not publish comments which contain rude or abusive language, libelous statements, slander and personal attacks against any person/s.
  • We will not publish comments which contain racist remarks or any kind of racial or religious incitement against any group of people, in Egypt or outside it.
  • We welcome criticism of our reports and articles but we will not publish personal attacks, slander or fabrications directed against our reporters and contributing writers.
  • We reserve the right to correct, when at all possible, obvious errors in spelling and grammar. However, due to time and staffing constraints such corrections will not be made across the board or on a regular basis.

© 2010 Ahram Online.