A header from Benevento striker Adolfo Gaich gave the Argentine under-23 team the victory with justice against a willing Japan, in which Kubo stood out, in a friendly match played in Tokyo as a rehearsal for the Olympic Games in the capital Japanese.
The party was the first to host Japan with an audience in the stands -about 10,000 spectators filled the stands of the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo- and with a foreign team as a visitor since the beginning of the pandemic, after the one held the day before between the Japanese national team and South Korea, with victory local by 3 to 0.
After observing a minute of silence for the death of Diego Armando Maradona last November, the clash began with Argentina trying to monopolize possession and the “blue samurai” resorting to their characteristic electric attacks.
The first clear chance came for the albiceleste with a shot to the crossbar by Fernando Valenzuela in which the visitors claimed the hand of a Japanese defender, and after a good play inside the area of Gaich. Valenzuela met the crossbar again in the 18th minute after a hard shot from point-blank range.
After these two warnings, the visitor’s goal came through an excellent header from Gaich, thus materializing the counterattack led with power by Matías Vargas on the right.
Japan barely tried in the first half with a free-kick from Kubo and a long shot from Tagawa that went wide from the goal defended by Ledesma.
In the second part, the locals tried to tighten with the mobility of Kubo and Miyoshi as their main weapons, but they found no gaps to see the door against an Argentina well planted in their land.
As the minutes passed, the speed of the Japanese wingers managed to penetrate the flanks more easily, although their centers never found a finisher.
Kubo was a nuisance on the left for Fernando Valenzuela and Hernán de la Fuente, who were forced to stop him with fouls, and without their internships ending in too much danger in the final stretch of the match, in which both coaches introduced numerous changes.
Argentina was limited to maintaining its position on the field and preferred to touch the ball with long possessions to risk in attack, while the Japanese finished the game without ever seeing themselves close to a draw.
0 – Japan: Osako; Hatate (Koga, m.65), Itakura, Watanabe, Sugawara; Nakayama, Mitoma (Soma, m.65), Miyoshi (Hayashi, m.81), Watanabe; Kubo and Tagawa (Meshino, m.77). Selector: Akinobu Yokouchi.
1 – Argentina: Ledesma; Hernán De La Fuente, Nehuén Pérez, Nazareno Colombo, Milton Valenzuela; Santiago Ascacíbar, Matías Vargas (Lucas González, m.63), Fernando Valenzuela (Benjamin Rollheiser, m.74) Santiago Colombatto (Santiago Hezze, m.90); Agustín Urzi (Alexandro Bernabei, m.81) and Adolfo Gaich. Selector: Fernando Batista.
Goals: 0-1, m.21: Gaich.
Referee: Ryuji Sato (Japan). He showed warnings to Ascacíbar (m.27), Watanabe (m.48) and Milton Valenzuela (m.59).
Incidents: Friendly match played at the Ajinomoto Stadium in Tokyo, in front of 10,000 spectators.