Uruguay – Japan: Japan Hold On To Draw Against Late Uruguay Pressure (2-2)
Uruguay’s vertical and intense approach made this a game revolving around direct play, counterpressing and counterattacks. Uruguay’s possession was fairly ineffective in the first half, but looked dangerous in the second half, especially when Japan sat deeper and Uruguay could send cross after cross into a packed penalty box. Ultimately, they were unable to find a winner, however.
Tactical analysis and match report by Josh Manley.
Uruguay made just one change compared to their impressive 4-0 win over Ecuador, in their opening Copa América game. Matías Vecino dropped out of midfield, to be replaced by Lucas Torreira, who partnered Rodrigo Bentancur centrally in their 4-4-2 formation. Playing Vecino and Bentancur in central midfield together does not make a lot of less sense from a tactical point of view. Both players have roughly the same tactical profile: box-to-box midfielders that function best when given license to drift forward. Adding Torreira in midfield makes sense in theory, as he is more of a defensive midfielder, and arguably a better passer than both Bentancur and Vecino.
Japan came to this Copa América with a very young squad, in order to experiment and give young players a taste of tournament football. Following their 4-0 defeat against Chile, manager Hajime Moriyasu made five changes to the line-up, including youngster . . .