Japan came back from behind to earn a point against Ecuador as they began their FIFA U-20 World Cup 2019 campaign with a 1-1 draw at the Zdzisław Krzyszkowiak Stadium in Bysgoszcz, Poland on the opening day.
Pooled with Italy, Ecuador and Mexico in Group B, Japan opened their campaign against the South American champions and went behind unfortunately to a Kyosuke Tagawa own goal just at the stroke of half time.
Ecuador were presented with a free kick opportunity as the first 45 minutes were nearing its climax and Japanese goalkeeper Tomoya Wakahara punched the set piece delivery clear only to ricochet off Tagawa’s face into the goal.
FT: JPN 🇯🇵 1 – 1 🇪🇨 ECU
— AFC (@theafcdotcom) May 23, 2019
Wakahara redeemed himself at the start of the second half as he saved Jordan Rezabala’s penalty kick in the 51st minute to keep the Samurai Blue alive in their opening fixture.
Japan took full advantage of the lifeline handed to them as Kota Yamada scored the equalising goal in the 68th minute off a mistake from Ecuadorian custodian Moises Ramirez to earn a vital point.
Meanwhile, Italy went top of Group B with a 2-1 win over Mexico in the other fixture. Midfielder Davide Frattesi gave the Italians an early lead in the third minute, but Roberto de la Rosa equalised for the Mexicans in the 37th minute.
However, a second half strike from Luca Ranieri in the 67th minute earned Italy all three points from their opening fixture.
Senegal, Colombia score easy wins in Group A
🌍 World, meet Amadou Sagna, scorer of the earliest goal in #U20WC history.
The 🇸🇳 Senegal forward’s goal v Tahiti clocked in at 9.6 seconds, surpassing Monday Odiaka who scored in 14 seconds in 1985 ⏱
What a start to Poland 2019 🇵🇱 pic.twitter.com/0jtwu3zNt0
— FIFA.com (@FIFAcom) May 23, 2019
Colombia defeated hosts Poland 2-0 in their opening fixture of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2019 Stadion Widzewa in Lodz on Thursday. The goals came from Ivan Angulo in the 23rd minute before Luis Sandoval sealed the result in the second half injury time.
Meanwhile, Amadou Sagna scored a hattrick as Senegal coasted to a 3-0 victory over Tahiti in the other Group A fixture on Matchday 1.
Sagna scored his first goal after just 9.6 seconds from kick off setting a new record for the fastest goal in the history of the U-20 World Cup. The previous record was 14 seconds set by Nigeria’s Monday Odiaka against Canada in the 1985 edition.
The young Senegalese also scored in the 29th and 50th minutes to complete his treble and take his nation to an opening day win in Poland.