Christchurch United players Seamus Gallagher and Nicholas Murphy showed how much they and their Wellington Phoenix Soccer School mates had progressed on their Japanese tour since their heavy first game defeat when they narrowly lost to the famous Yokohama Marinos on Tuesday night.
Seamus and Murphy have been guest players with the Wellington Phoenix Soccer School on their two-week tour to Japan and competed well with their talented Japanese peers.
The travelling party arrived in Tokyo on Monday to play Yokohama Marinos, the wealthiest club in in Japan with a famous academy that has produced some of the country’s most famous names.
The match was evenly matched at 1-1 at the break, but the Kiwis had to allow Yokohama to pull away in the final stages of the 70-minute match for an admirable 2-4 defeat.
Phoenix Soccer School Director Jo Dawkins said the boys were in tears after the match, “not because they lost, but because they knew they deserved something out of it,” said Dawkins, adding that in all her years touring with teams in Japan, this was one of the closest results achieved by a junior New Zealand team.
Things will not get easier later this week when the young Kiwis face another J-League club Kawasaki Frontale and Kashima Reysol.
Words and image supplied.