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14 July 2019 | in Football

Japan outclass Brazil to take men’s football gold

NAPOLI, 13 July - There were jubilant scenes tonight at Stadio Arechi as Japan clinched the Napoli 2019 Summer Universiade men’s football title, beating Brazil 4-1. Striker Ayase Ueda was the star of the show as he grabbed a second half hat-trick to sink the Brazilians, with captain Reo Hatate also on the scoresheet for the champions.


Japan were certainly out of the blocks quicker, and should have been ahead early on after missing several key chances, but the teams went in at half-time with the game goalless.


The deadlock was finally broken on 55 minutes as Brazil defender Ramon Rezende tripped Japan’s Kaoru Mitoma inside the box. And it was a double blow for Brazil as number nine Ueda scored the resulting penalty, with Rezende sent off for a second yellow card.


With Brazil now a man down, Japan were given more room to attack, and Ueda added his second soon after. Hatate then got himself on the scoresheet five minutes later as he scored his third goal of the tournament.


Eduardo Luiz pulled one back for the depleted Brazilians, but any hopes of a late comeback were soon quashed as Ueda slotted in his third of the night, and his fifth in the competition.


FISU spoke to gold medal winning captain Hatate after the victory.


“It feels excellent,” he said. “It’s been very hard.


“The schedule is very tight, so all of the players have put in hard work.


“The way we achieved success has been very hard, we all made this success,” added the 21-year-old.


“We are very proud for Japan, we feel spirited, it’s very important.”


Japan went into the final in fine form, having won both group games by a three goal margin, before beating South Korea 2-0 in their quarterfinal. They did, however, draw 3-3 with Italy in a thrilling semifinal, but went on to win the game 5-4 on penalties.


The road to the final wasn’t as straightforward for Brazil, however, who edged past Russia 2-1 in the semifinals after beating Ukraine by the same result in the quarterfinals. They picked up one win and one draw in their group, but secured qualification to the latter stages of the tournament thanks to their superior goal difference.


Stadio Arechi also hosted the men’s bronze final earlier in the evening, and it was good news for the home crowd as Italy overcame Russia 4-3 on penalties after a feisty 2-2 draw. The results bring an end to a hugely competitive football tournament staged throughout the region, with DPR Korea having beaten Japan 2-1 in last night’s women’s final at Stadio Ciro Vigorito.




Men’s Football


Gold: Japan

Silver: Brazil

Bronze: Italy