Match № 21
The match № 21, group C, sixth tournament day
JAPAN – AZERBAIJAN 4:1 (3:0)
January 8th, 2014, St. Petersburg, Peterburgsky SCC, 300 spectators
Referees: Ivan Saraev, Aleksandr Rodionov, Aleksandr Ivanov
Japan: Hayashi, Ishida, Suzuki, Matsubara, Uryu (Watanabe, 75), Sugimoto, Takagi (Kitagawa, 61), Sakai, Shindo (c) (Motegi, 46), Miyamoto, Okugawa (Nakano, 61)
Head coach: Atsushi Uchiyama
Azerbaijan: Sahin, Safarzade, Mammadov A., Aghaverdiev (Nabiyev, 34), Khakimov, Muradbayli (c), Ibazada (Madatov, 46), Zamanov, Mammadov T. (Mustafazade, 36), Kama (Jafarov, 36), Felek (Hashimli, 34)
Head coach: Adam Nikolai
Goals: Shindo (19), Takagi (22, 24), Sugimoto (58), Jafarov (63)
Yellow cards: Matsubara (10), Hashimli (82)
Red card: Khakimov (17)
Best players: Bahlul Mustafazade, Akito Takagi
After match comments
Head coach of the team Japan Atsushi Uchiyama:
– The game was very concentrated, though it revealed some problems in our team. In the first half we played quite well but by the finish the accuracy got lower and the temp of taking decisions and playing decreased.
– Can it be because of the adaptation to another time zone?
– I've mentioned that we had no problems with it, neither with adaptation nor with the conditions. They are very good and we feel quite comfortable. It's about the individual technics and mistake we make, but we'll improve.
– Your team and your coaches show brilliant discipline. Are you always so composed?
– This is our strong point. We pay much attention at fair play and team discipline.
– Today you had supporters on the tribune. Did you feel the support, or you were absorbed by the game and didn't notice the fans?
– We couldn't fail to notice them. We were very much surprised when we saw the supporters and heard cheers in our native tongue. The whole team come to the tribunes after the final whistle and thanked the spectators for the fine support.
– You've entered the play off from the top place. Do you have any preferences about the play-off opponents?
– Yes. We want to play against the strongest.
Head coach of the team Azerbaijan Adam Nikolai:
– My sincere congratulations to the team of Japan with the victory in the match and in the group. I can't estimate the match, because the red card changed everything. I won't comment the referee's decision, but I think there was an off-side before the fault, but referees didn't check it. We changed the scheme of playing, made changes in the lineup, began to play much higher in the defense comparing with previous matches. Probably we could play better if there weren't the red card.
– Before the press conference you asked two minutes to talk to your team.
– I'm sorry but it is confidential, as well as the talk we had during the break in the match. I'm sure that I found right words to awake my players and cheer them up. You've seen it by yourself how they played the second half with 10 players only.
– What was the main problem for you on this tournament?
– Talking about the whole tournament, the main thing is schedule of games. 5 matches for 8 days is really hard. Moreover we have 50% of our staff of 97th year of birth. It's more complicated for them to bear such a load. Everything else is the same: injuries, adaptation.
– Whom do you prefer to play in the play-off round?
– Let's wait for the defined opponent. But I can say surely that both the previous matches and oncoming matches we play for the victory.