Das Spiel wurde über drei Viertel zur Gänze von den beiden stark aufspielenden Defensivreihen dominiert. Erst im letzten Viertel konnte sich der Favorit Japan durch einen Touchdown von Quarterback Ryosuke Nishizawa eine 7:0-Führung erarbeiten und bis zum Ende des Spiels auch halten.

So stark Österreichs Defensive agierte, so wenig brachte die Offense an diesem Tag zustande.

U19-Weltmeisterschaft: Spiel um Platz 3
Japan vs. Österreich 7:0
7. Juli 2012 | 00:00 MEZ
Burger Stadium | Austin/TX

Quarterback Ryosuke Nishizawa broke a scoreless tie with a one-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter to give Japan a 7:0 win over Austria in the Bronze Medal game at the International Federation of American Football Under-19 Championship at Burger Stadium in Austin, Texas on Saturday. Japan also took Bronze at the inaugural U-19 tournament in Canton, Ohio, in 2009.

The Japan defense limited Austria to just 90 yards in total offense on the day. Linebacker Naoki Hayashi earned MVP honors for Japan with seven tackles on the day.

"The success was we played together as a group," said Hayashi. "The defensive backs did a very good job. This was an accomplishment for the entire team. I’m am really to have been here and very excited about the entire experience. Being so close with other players and other teams in the dorms, I made a lot of friends and had a lot of conversations with people from other countries."

A rapidly-moving opening half saw the defenses dominate with the only serious scoring threat coming late in the second quarter when Japan reached the Austria 19 following a failed Austria punt attempt. But Japan’s Nanami Ariwa pushed a 36-yard field goal attempt wide right to end the threat.

Austria reached Japan’s 26-yard line late in the first quarter following an interception by Thomas Meznik but Austria came up short on fourth-and-six from the Japan 26 and turned the ball over on downs.

"The entire tournament, I think our defense did a really good job," said Japan head coach Takao Yamazaki. "Austria deserves great credit, especially on defense. They did a very good job stopping us. This experience will help American football in Japan. Not only to develop players but also human beings who can learn different cultures. In the future, Japan will continue to improve and build a better team."

Japan’s opening drive of the fourth quarter began in Austria territory at the 48. On first down Satoshi Sagino broke free on a 31-yard run down to the Austria 17 to set Japan up deep in Austria territory. Six plays later Nishizawa plunged over the goal line from a yard out for a 7:0 Japan lead with 8:42 left in the game.

On Japan’s next series Austria’s Thomas Meznik forced a fumble that was recovered by Thomas Oberdorfer near midfield with 6:51 left in the game. But Japan’s defense held at the 50 and Austria was forced to punt.

Austria had one final chance with 1:09 to go but could not advance beyond midfield and turned the ball over on downs to end the game.

"We prepared well for their offense but they prepared for ours as well," said Austria head coach Horst Obermayer. "Japan made some adjustments from what we’d seen so far and played a little differently defensively. We didn’t really have anywhere to go. This is the first time Austria has been to the World Championship. We were well aware that the level of the top teams would be higher than we’ve seen before but there is a difference between knowing this and experiencing it. We have some work to do but we will catch up."

Austria defensive lineman Christoph Leitner earned MVP honors for Austria with six tackles and a sack.

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