A selection of J.League academy players drew 1-1 with a team of Japan’s best high school players in the NEXT GENERATION MATCH before Saturday’s FUJI XEROX SUPER CUP.
Shizuoka Gakuen midfielder Reo Hatate broke past defenders to score just before half time of the 70-minute match, but the J.League side finished honours even thanks to Akito Mukai’s goal 13 minutes into the second half.
“Despite limited time to prepare I believe both teams delivered great performances,” J.League chairman Mitsuru Murai commented after the match.
“The need to prepare Japan’s next generation of footballers is urgent, but in order to accomplish that our players need worthy opponents.
“In that sense, today’s teams played with respect and demonstrated their spirit. I hope these players can continue to aim even higher. in the future.”
The NEXT GENERATION MATCH has previously featured rising stars such as Kashima Antlers’ Gaku Shibasaki, BSC Young Boys’ Yuya Kubo and Sanfrecce Hiroshima’s Takuma Asano.