(C) Kantana Japan
As a part of Asia in Resonance 2019, the Japan Foundation Asia Center and the Football Association of Thailand held "The Japan Foundation Bangkok Cup"- an international friendly football match between U-16 Southeast Asia and Japan Team "ASIAN ELEVEN" and U-16 Thailand National Team, in Thailand on November 3, 2019.
This ASIAN ELEVEN was composed of 18 players from 10 countries; Cambodia, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam.
The manager of ASIAN ELEVEN was Takuma Koga, same as the "JapaFunCup" held in June this year. Robin Chitrakar from Singapore as a head coach, Nino Datoy from the Philippines as a goalkeeper coach, Kazunori Ohara as a team manager from the Football Federation of Cambodia, and Mr.Mail Tanjong from the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam also joined to assist ASIAN ELEVEN in Thailand.
On October 26th, all of the players arrived in Thailand from each country and started about one week of training camp while sharing the same accommodation at a training facility in Bangkokthonburi University.
All of them met each other for the first time in Thailand. At first, it seemed that they hesitated to communicate with friends whose native language was not the same, but they gradually become closer with each other through their common language, "football".
In a practice match with Thai Beverage (a youth team in Thai) on October 29th, ASIAN ELEVEN won 2-1. The match helped the team to identify some problems on the defense. Hence they focused their training on it in the practice from the next day.
On the match day. They had a final meeting after lunch. The movement in the game was demonstrated on the screen by using a video animation technology created by the coaches. The players listened with full attention.
After the meeting, the players moved to the pitch. The weather was clear with strong sunshine. After warming up, the team had a final team talking in the locker room. Finally, it was time to kick-off.
The first half. ASIAN ELEVEN aggressively attacked from the beginning, but the U-16 Thailand national team scored first. After that, Thailand national team scored another goal and finished the first half with 0-2.
The second half. While over 300 spectators including local football boys and girls in Thailand and Japanese people living in Thailand are watching, Do Van Chi from Vietnam made thescored goal from a free kick! Soon after that, Zakaria Syari Bin Aidit from Singapore also scored the goal!
The match went into a penalty shootout. In the shootout, Indonesia goalkeeper Dimas Maulana made outstanding saves for three consecutive times! ASIAN ELVEN won the JFB Cup after a drastic turn of the game.
The winning ASIAN ELVEN was awarded a trophy by Hiroko Tsuka, the Executive Vice President of the Japan Foundation.
After that, ASIAN ELEVEN, Thai national team, referees, and staff took a commemorative group photo with the Match Flag specially created for the previous football match, JapaFunCup.
Following the previous JapaFunCup held in Fukushima in this June, the Japan Foundation Bangkok Cup became a match that was the culmination of a project that has been conducted since 2014 by the Japan Foundation Asia Center to develop young leaders in football between Southeast Asia and Japan, and to share knowledge and experience across borders.
The ASIAN ELEVEN players who have grown further through the Japan Foundation Bangkok Cup are expected to continue to relating to each other across the countries and act as young leader of Asian football in the near future. The Japan Foundation Asia Center will continue to support their exchanges in the future.
Photos: Kantana Japan
ASIAN ELEVEN Team Activity Schedule
- October 26: Arrival at Thailand
- October 27: Training
- October 29: Practice match with Thai Beverage
- October 30: Exchange programs at Assumption College Thonburi, Training
- October 31: Training
- November 1: Training
- November 2: Training
- November 3: International Friendly Football Match "The Japan Foundation Bangkok Cup"
- November 4: Sightseeing in Bangkok
- November 5: Departure from Thailand