Japan rally to share spoils with Ecuador
South American champions Ecuador faced a tough opening-day challenge against perennial FIFA U-20 World Cup qualifiers Japan in Bydgoszcz. La Tricolor took the lead right before half-time, albeit rather fortuitously. From a free-kick, Japan goalkeeper Tomoya Wakahara punched his clearance directly into team-mate Kyosuke Tagawa's face and the ball ricocheted into the goal.
However, Japan fought their way back into the game with a large amount of the credit due to Wakahara, who saved Jordan Rezabala's penalty early in the second half to keep his team in with a chance. And that moment proved to be just what the Samurai Blue needed as Kota Yamada equalised in the 68th minute, steering his shot home from close range after Ecuador keeper Moises Ramirez failed to clear his lines.
Next up (Sunday)
Mexico-Japan (15:30 local time) Ecuador-Italy (18:00 local time)
U20WC 2019: Japan 1-1 Ecuador
Ecuador celebrate Japan's own goal
BYDGOSZCZ, POLAND - MAY 23: Ecuador celebrate Japan's own goal during the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup group B match between Japan and Ecuador at Bydgoszc...
Mitsuki Saito of Japan clashes with Gonzalo Plata of Ecuador
BYDGOSZCZ, POLAND - MAY 23: Mitsuki Saito of Japan clashes with Gonzalo Plata of Ecuador during the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup group B match between Jap...