A Fiery White Paper! Junya Ito: “What We Discussed Behind the Scenes of the Defeat of Spain | FRIDAY DIGITAL

A Fiery White Paper! Junya Ito: “What We Discussed Behind the Scenes of the Defeat of Spain

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Running around defensively and offensively, he was the catalyst for the dramatic goal.

Japan completely disintegrated us in ten minutes. We went into a collapse mode, and if they had needed to score two more goals, I think they would have scored them.

The equalizer early in the second half sent Spanish coach Luis Enrique “into a panic. Junya Ito (29), who started the scoring, confided, “That was the play I was aiming for.

At the start of the second half, myself and Kaoru (Mitomo) talked about putting pressure on the opposing side-backs. When the ball actually went into the opponent’s sideback, he wasn’t looking at me, so I thought, ‘I can get it,’ so I stepped up my game and went for it.

Although he is normally a forward, he started the match against Spain at right wingback. When asked if he didn’t go forward in the first half because he needed to think about defense, Ito said that was also his strategy.

Ito said, “In the first half, I made a block in the back (of my own team) and tried to draw them in for a counterattack. I was thinking only of running and getting the opponents out and closing down the inside of the box. (In the second half (after Spain took the lead), I switched to ‘put more pressure on them from the front,’ and I think they were surprised. I wanted to go forward, but I held back in the first half. In the second half, when Ritsu (Doyasu) put pressure on me, I said, “I have to go! I said, “I have to go. I left the back to Koh (Itakura).

The first half was a struggle, with Spain controlling most of the ball, and many fans turned off their TVs when they went ahead 0-1. However, Ito believes that the 45 minutes of struggle led to a comeback.

I thought that if we kept on fighting, the chances would definitely come. It would have been better if we had not conceded any goals, but we were able to keep the score to a minimum and go into the second half. Of course, I didn’t feel good about it (laughs), but at halftime we all said, “We have to do it,” and the atmosphere became one of going for the score. First, a point! We were able to get a point. The pressure worked. It was a super goal by Ritsu, but it was great that we were able to put pressure on the front and score early.

Former national team coach Troussier and other foreign pundits praised Ito as “Japan’s fantasista.

Ito’s goal three minutes later was also the result of a pass from Ito. But did you ever think, “We took the lead too early ……? and “It was too early to take the lead. With added time, there were more than 40 minutes left in the game. Many fans may have recalled the nightmare of the World Cup in Russia against Belgium, where they suffered a major upset.

The last 20 minutes seemed a little long, but we didn’t get hit on the flanks, and I didn’t feel like we were going to get hit too much. Toward the end, Tomi (Takehiro Tomiyasu) came on and I went forward, but I think it was a signal that the defense needed to tighten up, and I was just thinking about how I could help the team even when I went forward. At halftime, I heard that Germany was winning 1-0, but after that, I didn’t have a clue. I just knew that Germany would win, so I felt like I couldn’t give them another point.

Although he is overshadowed by Doan and Mitsuzumi, the Samurai Blue’s progress would not be complete without Ito’s performance. In the first match against Germany, Ito played three positions: right midfielder, shadow (between forward and midfielder), and right wingback. And against Spain, he started at right wingback and then moved into the shadow for the last half of the game. His utility has brought more width to the team.

Ao Tanaka was involved in the game-winning goal.

Yes,” he said. I think I can basically play any position I have played before. (I was told by [coach] Hajime Moriyasu that I might be able to play in the top two. I didn’t do it this time. No matter where I play, I hope to do what only I can do.

Six months before Japan was selected in Group E with Germany and Spain, and many pundits were prepared for Japan’s elimination from the group stage, Ito said in an interview with this magazine, “I’m looking forward to it.

I am looking forward to it. I can play against strong teams. (The German coach of Henk (my former team) said to me, ‘Good luck.

–How will they take on Germany and Spain?

I think the basic principle is that we need to be patient and create chances when they have a lot of time on their side. I am sure there will be space behind the opponent’s defense, and I want to target those areas.

I asked Ito, who had done exactly what he said he would do. Is the World Cup fun? Ito answered, “Yes, it is fun.

It is fun. But it’s still tough (laughs). I’ll do my best again!

He “felt inadequate” in the game against Costa Rica, but he exploded in the game against Spain, in which he played the full match!

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