Takumi Minamino appeared in the AS Monaco vs Le Havre match after returning from defending Japan in the 2023 Asian Cup. In 24 hours, he played in two matches on different continents.
The 20th week of the 2023-2024 French League match between AS Monaco vs Le Havre at the Stade Louis II which ended 1-1, Sunday (4/2/2024) was decorated by the appearance of Takumi Minamino. The player from Japan was put on the field by AS Monaco coach, Adi Huetter, in the 71st minute. For information, Minamino signed a four-year contract until June 2026 with the club.
Minamino came on to replace Maghnes Akliouche. “It’s crazy. He played yesterday in Qatar in the Japan vs Iran game, played for 25 minutes. He then flew to Monaco and appeared for the last 20 minutes today. Two matches in two days, two different continents, bringing disappointment from Japan’s elimination, physical fatigue, travel,” wrote French media RMC Sport about the Minamino phenomenon.
About 24 hours before playing for AS Monaco, Minamino took part in the 2023 Asian Cup quarter-final match between Iran vs Japan at the Education City Stadium, Al Rayyan, Qatar, Saturday (3/2/2024). Minamino also played as a substitute. He was introduced by Japanese coach Hajime Moriyasu in the 67th minute, replacing Daizen Maeda.
Minamino’s presence at that time did not make much difference to Japan. When the former Liverpool striker entered the field, the scoreboard for the Iran vs Japan match showed the numbers of 1-1. Japan ultimately failed to add a goal.
The team nicknamed the Blue Samurai actually had to be tragically eliminated after conceding a penalty goal from Iran in the final minute of the match. Iran ensured qualification for the semifinals and stopped Japan’s progress in the 2023 Asian Cup thanks to Alireza Jahanbakhsh’s penalty kick (90+6′).
Before Jahanbakhsh’s name graced the scoreboard, Iran and Japan shared the score at 1-1 for a long time. Japan took the lead first thanks to Hidemasa Morita’s contribution (28′). Iran then reacted in the second half and equalized via Mohammad Mohebi’s goal (55′). Iran’s revival climaxed via Jahanbakhs’ goal in the last minute.