Home » [Match Report]Nadeshiko Japan DPR Korea wins second match 2-1 and qualifies for Paris Olympics | JFA | Japan Football Association

[Match Report]Nadeshiko Japan DPR Korea wins second match 2-1 and qualifies for Paris Olympics | JFA | Japan Football Association

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[Match Report]Nadeshiko Japan DPR Korea wins second match 2-1 and qualifies for Paris Olympics | JFA | Japan Football Association

On February 28th (Wednesday), Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team) played against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea) Women’s National Team, ranked 9th in the FIFA rankings, at the National Stadium in Tokyo in the Paris 2024 Women’s Soccer Asian Final Qualifier. The second match was played and Japan won 2-1.

Japan replaced two starting players after the first match ended in a 0-0 draw, with Hikaru Kitagawa and Mami Ueno joining the starting list. Kyoka Yamashita will play goalkeeper, and the 3-4-3 formation will feature Minami Moeka, Saki Kumagai, and Hana Takahashi on the defensive line, Kitagawa on the left wing, and Risa Shimizu on the right wing. . The volunteer team was Fuka Nagano and Yui Hasegawa, and the front line from left was Ueno, Minami Tanaka, and Aoba Fujino.

Despite the chilly conditions of 9.1 degrees Celsius, 20,777 spectators gathered to cheer on both teams for the match that will determine the teams that will participate in the Paris Olympics.

The match started out tense, but Japan took the initiative and in the 10th minute, Minami Tanaka took a shot from a pass from Ueno. This was blocked by the opponent’s defender. DPR Korea also approached Japan’s goal with a quick attack, but Shimizu and Fujino, who have plenty of movement, took away the opponent’s freedom with press backs. The long-awaited opening goal came in the 26th minute, when Kitagawa kicked the free kick that Minami Tanaka got after being brought down. Ueno turned the ball back and Minami Tanaka in the center took a header. It hit the crossbar due to a save by the opposing goalkeeper, but Takahashi pushed it in to give us the lead. The score in the second match finally got the audience excited, and Japan moved one step closer to the Paris Olympics. However, just before the end of the first half, Japan was in a pinch, and DPR Korea’s Choi Geum-ok almost hit the corner of the goal with a skillful shot, but goalkeeper Yamashita jumped and made a super save with his right hand. Japan entered the second half with a 1-0 lead.

In the second half, DPR Korea attacked after receiving many second balls, but Kitagawa’s quick return and Kumagai’s powerful clears prevented the match from becoming a defensive battle. Japan will play Takako Seike on the left side, while DPR Korea will replace three players, including a frontline player, and together they will explore the shape of their attack. Seike attempted to score additional points with shots in the 65th and 71st minutes, but DPR Korea’s defense also put up a strong defense. The extra point came in the 77th minute when Shimizu evaded an opponent on the right side and delivered a cross, which was met with a strong header by Fujino at the near side. This shot went right on goal, and Fujino ran to the Japan bench and celebrated the goal with his teammates. However, DPR Korea went on a fierce attack and in the 81st minute, Kim Hye-young scored a goal to make it 2-1. Although Japan became a bit defensive, they continued to avoid risks during the 5 minutes of additional time in the second half to increase time.

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Japan won the second match 2-1 and finished the final qualifying round with one win and one draw, qualifying for the Paris Olympics. After the match, Nadeshiko Japan circled the venue carrying a banner that read “Power to disaster-stricken areas” and received warm applause from behind the goals of both teams, celebrating their sixth consecutive Olympic appearance.

Coach/player comments

Director Futoshi Ikeda
I am happy that we were able to win and qualify for the Paris Olympics, and I would like to pay tribute to the players who fought such a tough match. Above all, I would like to thank the more than 20,000 people who came to the National Stadium and supported the athletes, and also to those who cheered me on in front of the TV. I hope that I can bring some excitement through this victory. We will fight to earn the right to play and aim even higher, so we hope to continue to promote women’s soccer. I had a story in my head that would change the system for the first and second games, and based on what I learned from actual battles, I integrated various elements such as the sense of distance on the front line and attacks using width. In the Olympics, where there are only a few participating teams, no matter who your opponent is, they will be strong. Nadeshiko Japan aims to be the best in the world and will continue to grow and strengthen.

FP #4 Saki Kumagai (AS Roma/Italy)
We really felt how difficult the qualifying rounds were, going to Saudi Arabia and coming back to play, and we all knew that today was not going to be an easy match either. It was a difficult match, but I was able to win and qualify for the Olympics, so I’m really glad. I had a strong feeling that we couldn’t repeat our loss in the Rio Olympics qualifiers, and I felt that we absolutely had to win for the future of women’s soccer, and I conveyed that to all the players. That’s why I’m really glad we won. The Olympics are a short competition, and I think it will require a real team effort. I think it is absolutely necessary to improve my level, and I think I still don’t have enough to win at the world level, but I’m glad I got a chance to compete at the world level.

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FP #5 Hana Takahashi (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies)
I’m happy because I can continue playing with this team. When it came to the goal scene, I was determined to push it no matter what. The ball spilled in a good spot, but we have been practicing set pieces as a team for a long time, and we designed them even at the Women’s World Cup, so it was good that we were able to score from that. We had no choice but to win this match, and we all went into the match understanding the significance of this one match. I think we were able to exploit the opponent’s weak points by making various assumptions about how the opponent would fight, and by changing the system as well. This time, we had a lot of situations where our back three went well, and we were able to create some attacking situations that we were aiming for. I think we were able to respond well with the coordination of our back three and Yamashita’s encouragement.

FP #10 Fuka Nagano (Liverpool FC/England)
It’s great to be able to qualify. The first game turned out like that, so all I felt was that today we had no choice but to win at home. I think the fact that each and every player was able to play with confidence led to today’s result. We started getting the ball to our forwards using vertical passes, which we didn’t have in the first game, and our involvement gradually increased from there, so that was a good point to make. However, I think we still need to improve the precision of our play (heading into this tournament). To be honest, I was really looking forward to today and didn’t really feel like losing. At yesterday’s practice, everyone showed a strong desire to do it, so I thought I could do it too. We were able to come together as one and participate in the match.

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FP #15 Aoba Fujino (NTV/Tokyo Verdy Beleza)
(During the goal scene) I ran with the intention of getting in the cross. I thought the trajectory of the cross was aimed at Takako (Seike), but I wanted to score, so I jumped in, and I could see the opposing goalkeeper moving, so all I had to do was score. (After the two games) I felt like I had accomplished everything, and I was also quite tired. To be honest, I am glad that I was able to qualify for Paris. I was very happy that I was able to score the goal that helped us win, and I had never scored a header goal before, so I was very happy. I would be happy if everyone could have high expectations for me from now on towards the Paris Olympics, but I think that if I don’t improve step by step, I will still be a long way from winning the gold medal, so I want to focus on myself, including the challenges that came up today. .

Paris Olympics 2024 Women’s Soccer Asian Final Qualifiers

February 28, 2024 (water) 18:30 キックオフ vs. Women’s Representative of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea
Venue: Tokyo/National Stadium
Click here for tournament information

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