Home » [Match Report]Nadeshiko Japan’s first home and away matches against DPR Korea are draws | JFA | Japan Football Association

[Match Report]Nadeshiko Japan’s first home and away matches against DPR Korea are draws | JFA | Japan Football Association

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[Match Report]Nadeshiko Japan’s first home and away matches against DPR Korea are draws | JFA | Japan Football Association

On Saturday, February 24th, Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team) played against the Women’s National Team of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea), ranked 9th in the FIFA rankings, at the Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for the Paris Olympics 2024 Women’s Soccer. The first match of the Asian Final Qualifier was played and the match ended in a 0-0 draw.

Japan, who will be playing their first match in 2024, will use a 4-3-3 formation with Kyouya Yamashita as the goalkeeper, Moeka Minami and Hana Takahashi in the defensive line as center backs, and Toko Koga as the left back. Players, Risa Shimizu will be on the right. Captain Saki Kumagai served as the anchor, Fuka Nagano and Yui Hasegawa stood in the inside half, and Riko Ueki, Minami Tanaka, and Aoba Fujino lined up from the left in the front line, aiming to score points.

The pre-match temperature was a hot 31 degrees, but Japan showed an aggressive stance right after kickoff, with Ueki launching a ferocious chase on the first play. As a result, Hasegawa kicked the left CK, and Kumagai’s header just missed the right side of the goal. With a three-back system, DPR Korea carried the ball forward with a simple attack, and goalkeeper Yamashita made a good save with his left hand on MYONG YU JONG’s shot in the 26th minute. There was a fierce battle for the ball in the midfield, and Fujino in particular contributed to the defense with his detailed positioning. In the 42nd minute, Tanaka Minami fired a shot with her left foot from Fujino’s cross, but goalkeeper PAK JU MI cleared it with her left foot. Immediately after that, Ueki sent a cross from the left side, but it crossed the goal and went off to the right.

The second half started without any substitutions, and DPR Korea stepped up its offensive stance, but Minami in the 48th minute and Takahashi in the 50th minute nipped the opponent’s attacks in the bud with their quick covering. Japan brought on Yoshino Nakajima, Takako Seike, and Moeko Tanigawa one after another, with Nakajima on the left side and Seike on the right side, showing off their strong dribbling skills. Tanigawa created chances with mid-range passes from his anchor position. However, DPR Korea remained strong and aimed straight at the Japanese goal, with KIM KYONG YONG scoring a header in the 73rd minute. This hits the crossbar and the score does not move. Japan won a series of corner kicks in the final stages, and Seike repeatedly appeared in front of the goal from the right side even in the midst of the match. Reika Chiba, who returned to Nadeshiko Japan, was active at the frontline, but could not score a goal and the first match of the Asian Final Qualifier ended 0-0.

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Nadeshiko Japan will play the second match of the Paris Olympics 2024 Women’s Soccer Asian Final Qualifier against DPR Korea, which will kick off at 18:34 on Wednesday, February 28th at the National Stadium, aiming to qualify for the Paris Olympics.

Coach/player comments

Director Futoshi Ikeda
Of course, we aimed to win today’s match, and I think our players fought well in this warm weather. We were thinking about the home and away totals and talking about making sure to connect to our home games, but we weren’t able to win today, but we can face the next match with a score of 0-0, so we need to recover well first. , I would like to try to adjust my condition. We knew that our opponent would be making some preparations for this match, and we made various assumptions about whether they would use a four-back team or a five-back team, whether they would press from the front or lay down blocks. One of the things we did was 5-back. We had experience dealing with such changes during our tour to Brazil last November, so I think we were able to respond in some ways while watching the opposing players.
In order to win home games, we need to score points, and for that purpose, we want to reevaluate the relationships between players, such as the distance between them, and improve accuracy.

FP #4 Saki Kumagai (AS Roma/Italy)
Of course, we had to make some adjustments, but it’s great that we didn’t lose. I would have liked to have decided the majority in the first match, but we have no choice but to do what we have to do for the next match. I would like to take a positive view of the fact that we didn’t lose without falling behind, and that we were able to face the second match at home from a 0-0 deficit.
It was hot, but so was my opponent, and I think they were pretty tired from the first half because they were chasing me from the front, but in the second half, once they were able to do what they wanted to do, it was more of me. I felt like the ball was being passed around and I felt like I was being pushed around. As a team, we want to be able to make adjustments in our heads so that we can take control of our defense.

FP #9 Riko Ueki (West Ham United/England)
I feel like we should have been able to adjust the distance between players sooner. I think my strength is in pressing up front, and I’m glad we had a chance to show off that ability, but if we could have played like that as a team for 90 minutes, including myself, the result would have been different. I think it was done.
I felt that our opponent had the strength to deal with loose balls. However, it’s not like we couldn’t do anything, so I don’t think we’ll be scared if we can fully demonstrate what we’ve been preparing for. In today’s match, we were able to understand our opponent’s fighting style, and I think we have more materials to make adjustments for the next match. The next match will also start from 0-0, and we will be playing it at home, so I hope everyone will support us and prepare well for a victory.

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FP #20 Toko Koga (Feyenoord/Netherlands)
As a left-back for the first time, there were a lot of uncertainties, but as a defensive player, I think it was good that we were able to finish without conceding a goal. The coach asked him to fight powerfully on defense against the height and strength of the opponent, and I think he was able to do that in the sense that he did not allow the opponent to score. In the build-up, we changed our positions in the second half, which made it easier for us to play, but I feel there are still many areas where we still need to improve. In any case, it was good that we didn’t concede a goal on defense, and we hope to carry this on into the second match.

Paris Olympics 2024 Women’s Soccer Asian Final Qualifiers

Saturday, February 24, 2024 16:04 Kick-off scheduled (22:04 Japan time) vs Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Women’s National Team
Venue: Jeddah (Saudi Arabia)/Prince Abdullah Al Faisal Stadium
Click here for tournament information

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