Japan upsets USA in American football to reach IFAF World Junior final


Japan's U20 American Football team defeated two-time champion USA 41-20 at the IFAF World Junior Championships in Edmonton, Canada on Wednesday. A dominant defensive performance in the first half propelled Japan to a commanding lead, which they held onto despite a strong American comeback attempt.

  • Dominating performance: Linebacker Toshihiro Higashi's fumble recovery and running back Takemi Minobe's touchdown run sparked Japan's early surge. MVP quarterback Nobuaki Kobayashi connected with receiver Tobias Linscott for a crucial 16-yard touchdown pass. USA mounted a second-half comeback, but running back Taisei Urushibara's two touchdowns squashed any momentum.

  • Major upset against former champs: The victory is a significant upset, as the USA has traditionally dominated the sport and won the last three championships. This is the first time Japan has ever reached the IFAF U20 World Junior Championship final. Japan will face Canada in Sunday's gold medal game.

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