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Nadeshiko Japan falls to European Champions Netherland 6-2 in ALGARVE Cup 2018

01 March 2018

Nadeshiko Japan falls to European Champions Netherland 6-2 in ALGARVE Cup 2018

ALGARVE CUP 2018
Group League 1st Match vs Netherlands
Wed. 28 February Kick-off 15:40 (Local Time) Playing Time 90min.(45min.×2)
Estadio Municipal da Bela Vista (Parchal/Portugal)

Nadeshiko Japan 2-6 (1-5, 1-1) Netherlands

Scores
4' Goal against (Netherlands)
8' Goal against (Netherlands)
31' Goal against (Netherlands)
35' Goal against (Netherlands)
38' NAKAJIMA Emi (Nadeshiko Japan)
44' Goal against (Netherlands)
52' Goal against (Netherlands)
82' IWABUCHI Mana (Nadeshiko Japan)

Starting Line-ups
GK: IKEDA Sakiko
DF: SAMESHIMA Aya, MIYAKE Shiori, ICHISE Nana
MF: SAKAGUCHI Mizuho, ARIYOSHI Saori, NAKAJIMA Emi, SUMIDA Rin, HASEGAWA Yui
FW: HAJI Madoka, TANAKA Mina

Reserves
GK: YAMANE Erina, YAMASHITA Ayaka
DF: UTSUGI Rumi, KUMAGAI Saki, TAKAGI Hikari, OYA Ayumi, SHIMIZU Risa
MF: NAOMOTO Hikaru, MASUYA Rika
FW: SUGASAWA Yuika, IWABUCHI Mana, YOKOYAMA Kumi

Substitutions
HT ARIYOSHI Saori → SHIMIZU Risa
HT MIYAKE Shiori → TAKAGI Hikari
HT HAJI Madoka → YOKOYAMA Kumi
70' TANAKA Mina → IWABUCHI Mana
70' NAKAJIMA Emi → MASUYA Rika

Match Report

The opening match of the Algarve Cup 2018 kicked off just after the sky cleared, wiping away the concerns of the match being called off due to heavy rain. The Netherlands and Japan are no strangers, as they faced each other in the last Algarve Cup as well as in other friendlies. Having won the recent UEFA Women’s EURO, the Netherlands are one of the best teams in the world with great momentum on their side.

Japan kicked off the first half, and the game saw a quick turn of an event. In the 4th minute, the Netherlands sent a long ball behind the Japanese defence line. The Dutch side were able to get to the end of this ball, sending a cross to the centre and scoring the opening goal. Just four minutes later, the Netherlands penetrated the left flank to give themselves an early two goal lead.

Despite the early goals, the game saw an equally matched teams, as both teams utilised their strengths in offence and defence. Japan kept possession by connecting short passes, anticipating for their chances at goal, while the Netherlands utilised their speed and long balls to move forward while moving the ball in their back line. TANAKA Mina and NAKAJIMA Emi created chances but failed to convert while goalkeeper IKEDA Sakiko made fine saves. The two teams showed an well balanced fight for a while.

The Netherlands scored their third goal to break the silence in the 30th minute, when they fired a long range shot off of a clearance following a corner kick. The European Champions added another goal in the 34th minute to make it 4-0. Japan added themselves onto the scoring sheet as HASEGAWA Yui and SUMIDA Rin exchanged passes in the centre before slotting a through ball to Nakajima, who scored their first goal in the 37th minute.

It was thought that Nadeshiko Japan were about to begin their rally back, but conversely allowed another goal off of a corner kick in the closing minutes of the first half, entering half-time with a four goal deficit.

"Play with more power and score a goal first. We can’t let the game end like this. Take more risks and press up front." Coach TAKAKURA Asako encouraged her players during half-time before sending them off to the pitch.

Takakura subbed in three players from the start of the second half as SHIMIZU Risa made her Nadeshiko Japan debut.

After giving up a massive lead to their opponent, the Japanese side were desperate to score the next goal, however, the Dutch side scored their sixth goal in the 52nd minute. Japan took control of the match for a brief stretch when Hasegawa broke through with her dribbling and SAMESHIMA Aya penetrated the flank with her overlaps. The substitute, YOKOYAMA Kumi also contributed with here plays up front. Despite creating numerous chances, Japan could not find the net until the 70th minute substitute IWABUCHI Mana’s individual effort. Iwabuchi took on several defenders before scoring her side's second goal. But that would be it for the Japanese side. After conceding five goals in the first half, Japan suffered a lopsided 6-2 defeat in the end.

Nadeshiko Japan's second group-league match against Iceland will be held on Friday 2 March after a one-day interval.

Coaches' and Players' Comments

TAKAKURA Asako, Coach of Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team)
It was beyond our expectation how we were crushed so easily. My players tried to manage the game by following our game plan, but that didn't work out well. We were able to play our game in the second half, as it was evident that the players were making adjustments by talking to each other. It was certainly a disappointing result, but we have to feed off of this loss, and take advantage of this experience. We will clarify what we managed to do and we couldn't do, share them with everybody and sort them out.

DF #17 TAKAGI Hikari (NOJIMA STELLA KANAGAWA SAGAMIHARA)
With this match being the first match of the tournament, we knew it was going to be difficult, so we all kept a strong attitude heading into the match. With our subs encouraging from the bench, it was a total team effort. I was subbed in from the second half. Knowing we were down by four goals, I wanted to play aggressively and change the flow of the match. Although we showed more possession in the second half, I personally wasn’t able to effectively change the momentum of the game as we conceded another goal early in the second half, so I am left with disappointment. I want to play with more aggression to win the ball against bigger players. With the one-day break before our match against Iceland, we will try to improve the issues we found today to win our next match.

FW #11 TANAKA Mina (NIPPON TV BELEZA)
The score speaks for itself, our plays and the result weren’t good today. We don’t have anything to be satisfied from this match. Personally, I had chances I should have scored, but failed to convert. As a forward, I need to score goals. We only have a day before our next match, and there’s no time to dwell on. We will tackle on the issues as a team and face our next match.

Schedule

ALGARVE CUP 2018
Wed. 28 February 2-6 Group League 1st Match
vs Netherlands (Estadio Municipal da Bela Vista)
Thu. 1 March AM/PM Training
Fri. 2 March 15:25 Group League 2nd Match
vs Iceland (Estadio Municipal da Bela Vista)
Sat. 3 March AM/PM Training
Sun. 4 March AM/PM Training
Mon. 5 March 15:40 Group League 3rd Match
vs Denmark (Estadio Algarve)
Tue. 6 March AM/PM Training
Wed. 7 March TBC Play-off

*Local Time
*The schedule is subject to change due to the team condition, the weather, etc.

Algarve Women's Football Cup 2018

Tournament Period: 28 February 2018 (Wed.) - 7 March 2018 (Wed.)

Nadeshiko Japan's (Japan Women's National Team) Match
1st Match 28 February (Wed.) kick-off 15:40 (Japan Time : 24:40) vs Netherlands
2nd Match 2 March (Fri.) kick-off 15:25 (Japan Time : 24:25) vs Iceland
3rd Match 5 March (Mon.) kick-off 15:40 (Japan Time : 24:40) vs Denmark

All matches to be broadcasted live across Japan by Fuji TV Group

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