Japan vs. USA – Football Match Report – September 23, 2022

Japan vs. USA – Football Match Report – September 23, 2022

The United States got off to a bad start in their World Cup preparations, losing 2-0 to Japan in Düsseldorf in the first of two warm-up games before traveling to Qatar.

Daichi Kamada scored in the 24th minute while Kaoru Mitoma added another late on to leave manager Gregg Berhalter with plenty of problems. For the first time in 15 games, his team failed to score.

Carlisle: USMNT with no response for Japan in defeat

Berhalter’s side were without their talisman Christian Pulisic after it was revealed before kick-off that the Chelsea striker had suffered a stroke in training with the national team.

The USA meet Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in Murcia, Spain, in their last game before Berhalter has to submit his 26-man World Cup squad on November 13.

“We have to play with the personality,” said Berhalter. “We have to play relaxed. We have to play intensely. When we do those things we’re a really good team, but when we don’t we’re an average team.”

“It’s not fair to say everyone is on the block here. There are guys who have a lot of water under the bridge with this team and have played a lot of good games.

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“We have fallen short of expectations. We have not reached our normal standards. And almost everywhere.”

Japan took the lead in the 24th minute after a sloppy US play when Hidemasa hung up Morita with an unmarked Kamada to get home. The goal was initially ruled offside but eventually stood after a VAR check.

Berhalter brought on a number of substitutes in the second half but they failed to help USA get going while Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner had to be careful to prevent Japan from extending their lead.

Turner stopped a Kamada shot down his left in the 65th minute before tipping over a long-range Ritsu Doan shot 10 minutes later.

Mitoma scored Japan’s second goal in the 88th minute after dribbling past several defenders to assert his side’s dominance and doom the USA to a worrying defeat ahead of the World Cup.

“Obviously very disappointing,” Turner said. “I just wish we had a little more fighting about us from the start. I think we hurt each other in many ways.”

Information from Portal and Associated Press contributed to this report.