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Prediction: Japan Under-23s vs Mexico Under-23s – Football Predictions

Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.

With their hopes on Tokyo Olympics 2020 Gold now dead in the water Japan U23 and Mexico U23 will fight for the right to wear the bronze medal around the neck on Friday afternoon at Saitama Stadium 2002.

The hosts’ Olympic dream ended with a defeat in extra time to Spain in the semi-finals, while Mexico was outclassed by the young Brazilians from 12 meters.

Prediction for this match

While the 2020 Games were devoid of the noisy home games that Japan’s players longed for, Hajime Moriyasu‘s team acted like real professionals to survive the group stage undefeated and sink New Zealand on penalties in the round of 16 of the tournament.

Japan were rewarded for their efforts with a daunting duel against Spain but held their ground for 115 minutes until Real Madrid Marco Asensio went on to curl up a gorgeous left foot to put an end to the host nation’s hopes for football gold.

However, Moriyasu’s protégés still have a chance to make history for Japan, which only clinched a bronze medal in men’s football in 1968 – when the games were for amateur players and before the 23rd and under the rule went into effect – and their best result since that tournament 53 years ago was fourth place in London 2012.

With just two goals conceded throughout the tournament – and seven at the right end of the field – Japan’s defensive veterans are in Maya Yoshida and Hiroki Sakai provided the stability worthy of a top three placement, but Mexico isn’t exactly known for all kinds of waste.

Luis Romo from Mexico will celebrate his second goal with his teammates on July 31, 2021

It was South Korea that forced Japan to settle for fourth place in London 2012 with a 2-0 bronze medal win, but this time they were simply beaten and outclassed by Mexico in a 6-3 drubbing Jaime LozanoThe team marched up to the last four where they would face Brazil.

As with Japan and Spain, the two teams could not be separated in 90 minutes goalless and the game result was 0-0 after extra time, which led to a nervous battle from the penalty spot for the right goal fighting for the gold medal.

Carlos RodriguezThe attempt would find the back of the net, but by that point Mexico had already missed their first two penalties Eduardo Aguirre and Johan Vasquez, Leave Reinier the simple task of coming home to confirm a 4-1 win on penalties for Brazil.

As a result, there won’t be a replay of the infamous 2012 gold medal run for Mexico, which defeated Brazil in the final that year, but significant strides have been made since the 2016 Olympics, which saw El Tri knocked out with a whimper in the group stages.

Japan and Mexico fought in Group A during their runs at the Tokyo Games – with the Asian team triumphing 2-1 on July 25 – and, interestingly, El Tri was the loser in the playoff for third place as Japan claimed her only Olympic football medal in men’s football 53 years ago.

Japan U23 Olympic Games Men’s Football Form:
  • W.
  • W.
  • W.
  • W.
  • L.

Japan U23 form (all competitions):
  • D.
  • W.
  • W.
  • W.
  • W.
  • L.
Mexico U23 Olympic Games Men’s Football Form:
  • W.
  • L.
  • W.
  • W.
  • L.

Mexico U23 form (all competitions):
  • W.
  • W.
  • L.
  • W.
  • W.
  • L.

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Bologna's Takehiro Tomiyasu pictured in July 2020

Japan’s central defender Takehiro Tomiyasu returns for the bronze medal game after serving a suspension against Spain at Manchester Citys Ko Itakura fall out of the rear guard.

The Bologna man’s return means Japan are well-placed ahead of their goal to stardom, but Moriyasu are now under pressure to find the right formula for attacking Friday’s game.

Daichi Hayashi was trusted again from kick-off in the semifinals, but failed to ripple the network wave, so opportunities could arise Daizen Maeda or Ayase Ueda to be at the top.

Mexico also got a player back from suspension in the form of Jorge Sanchezwho could act as either right-back or left-back in lieu of either Vladimir Lorona or Jesus Angulo.

Rodriguez had to settle for a substitute game on his return after being suspended in the semi-finals, but the 24-year-old could now take the place of. be appointed to midfield Jose Esquivel.

Lozano will likely persist with the attacking trident from Uriel Antuna, Henry Martin and Alexis Vega, Real Betis Starlet Diego Lainez may have to settle for a seat on the bench again.

Possible starting line-up for the Japanese U23:
Tani; Sakai, Yoshida, Tomiyasu, Hatate; Endo, Tanaka; Doan, Kubo, Soma; Hayashi

Mexico U23 possible starting line-up:
Ochoa; Sanchez, Montes, Vasquez, Angulo; Romo, Rodriguez, Cordova; Antuna, Martin, Vega

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Probability: Japan U23 1-0 Mexico U23

Tomiyasu’s return is a significant boost for a Japanese side with some highly acclaimed names in the ranks and the host nation know what it takes to beat Mexico after they did in the group stage less than two weeks ago.

Lozano’s men have demonstrated their scoring skills against South Korea, but the two tired teams are unlikely to have an on-target affair on Friday, and we tip Japan to narrowly beat this game and only get a second medal in men’s Olympic football.

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