Mexico - Japan


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11.54am - The Japan players sink to their knees - they've given it everything. But Mexico's fast start made the difference then, when Japan fought back, they couldn't take their chances. So Mexico take bronze at the end of a really fun game - thanks for your company and check back for the report which'll be up presently. Ta-ra!
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Full-time: Mexico 3-1 Japan
90+4' - Japan are still hammering away, but Montes heads Kubo's cross away - what a leap that is - and that'll surely be that.
90+3' - Ochoa is booked for timewasting.
90+3' - Another ball into the Mexico box, this time hacked clear by Angulo. His team are nearly there.
90+1' - There'll be four added minutes.
90' - Now here comes Mitoma again, skinning Montes, and he's got a sight of goal ... another excellent connection ... but another shot zipping just wide! Japan have given this everything.
90' - This has been a really good game, the best I've seen in either the men's or women's tournament - by far.
88' - but Kubo's kick is first delayed - we're getting some late needle and there's some shoving inside the box - then Kubo fools everyone, laying back for Hatate, who's in galaxies of space! And he connects beautifully! Are we getting a finish?! No! His shot rockets just wide, and that is surely it for the hosts!
87' - Kubo, who's been disappointingly quiet, wins a free-kick down the right and close to the by-line, when Angulo clatters him...
86' - Mexico send on Esquivel and Aguirre for Martin and Rodriguez.
83' - Mexico are disappearing time pretty effectively.
81' - An attacking change for Japan, Miyoshi replacing Endo.
80' - Ueda chips Antna down and is booked.
79' - A double change for Mexico, Beltran and Alvrado replacing Vega and Cordova.
78' - GOAL! Mexico 3-1 Japan (Mitoma)
Mitoma has been excellent since coming on and he scores an absolute jazzer! Taking the ball outside the box, left of centre, he feints to shoot then dips away from two defenders, bursting in on goal before hammering a rising shot high into the net from a tightish angle! Do we got ourselves a ball-game?
77' - Ochoa has been great today, and when Mitoma darts a hard, low pass into Ueda and Ueda turns nicely, he again pushes the shot away.
75' - And here they come again, Mitoma doing superbly to inhale, sneak between two defenders, and dig out a rising toe-poke ... but Ochoa hurls himself left to make a superb save.
73 - Credit to Japan, they're still trying to play.
71' - Japan send on Itakura for Tanaka, a move that looks like they're trying to avoid a more resounding defeat rather than mount a comeback because Itakura is a sitting midfielder.
68' - We're back, and it's Mexico still in command, but now Japan counter, Ueda in space 18 yards out. He's got space to advance, but instead lets go a dig, which Ochoa parries away.
64' - I'm afraid we've lost coverage - please bear with me as I endeavour to regain it, largely by way of hoping.
63' - Japan send on Mitoma and Ueda for Nakayama and Hayashi. That'll sort it.
62' - Mexico comes again, on the counter with Vega. He finds Cordova, whose through-pass is deflected into the path of Martin ... and he leathers wide. Japan are absolutely rocking.
60' - Now here they come again, Antuna streaking clear down the right and with Rodriguez in the middle! He should square but you can understand why he shoots ... and the ball skids wide! This could turn into a hiding!
60' - This has been a superb display from Mexico.
58' - GOAL! Mexico 3-0 Japan (Vega)
Another terrific delivery into the box from Cordova, swinging his corner out, but what a header this is from Vega, moving away form the ball to power a glance inside the near post from 12 yards. Though he was a fair way out, Tani got nowhere near it! Mexico are going to win the bronze!
57' - I take it back. Lainez is hurt, limping off to be replaced by Antuna.
56' - Lainez picks up a loose ball outside the Japan box and tries a shot which Yoshida deflects behind for a corner. Lainez stays down, but seems fine.
54' - Now here come Mexico, Lainez breaking at inside-left and finding Cordova! He keeps head and knee over the shot, driving low ... but Tani parries, then snatches the loose ball before Martin can snaffle the rebound.
53' - But here come Japan, Nakayama, increasingly, influential, picks up possession down the left, just outside the box, and Bernd Schuster-style, he curves a delicate yet pacey cross for Doan .. but he heads over the top! That was a huge chance and a miserable miss!
52' - This is a pretty even game now, except Mexico are 2-0 up.
50'- Japan win a free-kick down the right and Tanaka's delivery is good, but Ochoa watches the ball well to double-fist clear.
47' - Japan need to try and get the ball forward more quickly, I think - though if Mexico tire with all the pressing, their might be opportunities to pass through them late on.
46' - Off we go again, with Japan yanking Soma; Hatate replaces him.
10.49am - Mexico have been much the better side, but Japan are showing signs of getting back into this.
10..48am - Half-time: Mexico 2-0 Japan
45+2' - Endo picks up possession in midfield, slides Doan awa down the left ... and Montes powers through him with a superb slide-tackle.
45' - There'll be two additional minutes.
44' - But here come Japan, a lovely flick from Hayashi sending Doan away! He sneaks by Angulo and drives a low cross seeing Hayasi at the far post, but Ochoa dives and holds smartly.
44' - The balance of play is more even now, but Mexico look as likely to score a third as Japan do a first.
42 - Endo gets away from Sanchez, who's too strong for him, leaning across to pike the ball out of play, with a hand to the back ushering his unfortunate opponent to the deck. He's booked, but that looked a fair challenge to me.
40' - Mexico counter down the left with Cordova, who crosses to the back post where Lainez lurks. I don't think Nakayama notices, but there's just too much pop on the ball and it runs behind.
38' - Nakayama is a decent outlet for Japan and he sticks in another decent cross, but Kubo's first touch is off so the ball won't sit down for him to shoot and Mexico crowd him and his mtaes out.
36' - Nakayama finds some space down the left and arcs a decent cross seeking Hayashi, but Vasquez is up earlier and higher to clear.
35' - Tanakan humps a long cross towards the back post, where Angulo does just enough before collapsing holding his heed. He's fine and play proceeds.
33' - More Mexico possession. Japan are struggling to get to the ball first.
32' - This has been near-perfection from Mexico so far.
31' - Hayashi picks up possession 25 yards from goal and tries a snap shot which skids a few yards wide.
30' -
28' - Kubo whips towards the near post, looking for the slightest touch, but Montes is there to head behind, with Ochoa also on-hand if required. The corner comes to nowt.
27' - Vasquez swings a left leg across his own right to clatter Sakai, on the burst past him towards the line. He's booked, and Japan have a chance to stick a ball into the box.
26' - Kubo nips towards the box and pokes into Soma who opens his body and passes a low curler ... just wide. He is having a day.
22' - GOAL! Mexico 2-0 Japan (Vasquez)
Redemption! Sent off against Japan in the group stages, the Mexico skipper steals away from poor old Endo to reach Cordova's terrific cross and plant a fine stooping header across Tani and into the side-netting! Mexico are on absolute flames!
24' - I've not a clue how Japan get out of this. Mexico are on one and they're struggling to cope.
22' - GOAL! Mexico 2-0 Japan (Vasquez)
Redemption! Sent off against Japan in the group stages, the Mexico skipper steals away from poor old Endo to reach Cordova's terrific cross and plant a fine stooping header across Tani and into the side-netting! Mexico are on absolute flames!
21' - Mexico win a free-kick down the left, 35 yards out...
20' - Vega finds Vasquez who dives a shot into the nearest legs to win a corner ... then the flag goes up for offside against Martin. If I've understood the law changes correctly, we're seeing the last of that - next season, decisions will be made and confirmed which makes sense because keepers were flying to make saves they didn't need to.
19' - Ochoa needs some treatment and while he receives it Endo is booked for the challenge. That seems harsh; it never rains.
17' - Now we're talking! Endo, desperate to atone for his earlier error, weaves towards the box and plays a hard, clever pass into Hayashi then runs off the back of it, collecting the return backheel ... but Ochoa is out quickly and well to smother. Much better from the hosts.
16' - But Japan have some of the ball now, moving it through midfield, before Soma looks to spread to Nakayama down the left and puts too much on the pass.
15' - Mexico have had 58% of the possession, but I'd imagine that most of Japan's 42% has been deep inside their own half, so those figures don't reflect the true balance of play.
13' - GOAL! Mexico 1-0 Japan (Cordova pen)
Tani dives right and the left-footed Cordova opens his body to roll the other way. Japan are in trouble because Mexico can now keep the ball and wait for openings.
12' - There's going to be a VAR check to confirm the foul was inside the box - our commentator thought not but I thought so, for what that's worth.
11' - Vega picks and bundles past Endo on the left, right by the corner of the box, and flings himself into the box right as Endo administers the foul ... AND THAT'S A PENALTY! That's brilliant from Vega because Endo was sure he'd only concede a free-kick, but the power and dynamism of the dive got him what he was after.
10' - Mexico are very nicely technical, in midfield especially, and are imposing their game on Japan who don't have the players to stop them. But they lack a bit of edge, so I'm expecting a low-scoring game and, let's be real, extra-time and penalties.
8' - Endo struts forward and allowed plenty of space he shows why, wellying a shot nowhere near anywhere.
7' - We zoom in on Kubo, and our commentators note that the Japanese public are waiting for him to explode. He scored an amazing goal in the first game and has generally looked lively, so hopefully he can go from here.
5' - Mexico have started the better, keeping the ball nicely.
3' - Lainez picks up possession 25 yards out, right-hand side, nips inside, and drags a left-footer towards the near post, but Tomiyasu extends a leg and the ball shoots behind for a corner which comes to nowt.
2' - I've not seen much of Japan so I'm really looking forward to seeing how Kubo gets on. He didn't do brilliantly at Villarreal or Getafe but he's got a lot of skill and at 20, still has plenty of time to make it at real Madrid.
1' - And away we go! For those of you watching in black and white, Mexico are in green and Japan in white.

Out they come

Anthem time. Mexico's is a nice, jaunty little number.

The sides

Have already played once in this competition - Japan won 2-1, Mexico's goal the one of only two they've conceded in this competition. But Mexico only lost to Brazil on penalties following a 0-0 draw, so they know what they're about too.

Neither of these sides

Will want to leave with nowt, so this should be a decent little tussle.


Japan: Kosei; Hiroki, Yoshida, Nakayama, Tomiyasu; Endo, Kubo, Doan, Soma, Tanaka; Hayashi. Subs: Osako, Itakura, Miyoshi, Maeda, Mitoma, Hatate, Ueda.


Let's look at the teams...


Hello and welcome to LIVE coverage of Mexico v Japan - aka the battle for bronze.
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