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HOME > Nadeshiko Japan > NEWS > 【Match Report】Nadeshiko Japan lose first international friendly to Brazil


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【Match Report】Nadeshiko Japan lose first international friendly to Brazil

01 December 2023

【Match Report】Nadeshiko Japan lose first international friendly to Brazil

On Thursday, 30 November, the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) played an international friendly match against the Brazil Women's National Team, ranked ninth in the FIFA rankings, at Neo Quimica Arena in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they lost 3-4.

Following the Asian qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Women's Olympic Football Tournament in October and November, head coach IKEDA Futoshi has opted for a 4-3-3 formation. HIRAO Chika (Albirex Niigata Ladies) started in goal with a backline of MINAMI Moeka (AS Roma), KOGA Toko (JFA Academy Fukushima), ENDO Jun (Angel City FC), and SHIMIZU Risa (West Ham United). KUMAGAI Saki (AS Roma) anchored the midfield with HASEGAWA Yui (Manchester City) and NAGANO Fuka (Liverpool FC) playing as the two central midfielders. Upfront, MIYAZAWA Hinata (Manchester United) and FUJINO Aoba (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza) were deployed on the flanks, while UEKI Riko (West Ham United) started as the central striker.

Against a Brazil side that looked to create chances through set-pieces and individual skill, Japan defended with a compact formation, passing the ball at a high tempo and looking to counter with quick, vertical attacks. Japan opened the scoring in the 38th minute when Hasegawa redirected Miyazawa's cross to set up Fujino, but Brazil responded just three minutes later when Beatriz ZANERATTO scored from a direct free-kick.

The introduction of ISHIKAWA Rion (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies) and SEIKE Kiko (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies) at halftime revitalised Japan’s attacks down the right side, leading to the shots taken by Ueki and Nagano in the 49th and 55th minutes respectively.

However, perhaps feeling the effects of the heat and fatigue from travelling for over 30 hours, Japan began to make careless mistakes and conceded a goal in the 61st minute when Brazil's Gabrielle JORDAO capitalised on Japan’s errant back pass. With momentum on their side, Brazil went onto capitalise on another mistake made by the Japanese defence line just two minutes later.

In an attempt to fight back, coach Ikeda brought on TANAKA Mina (INAC Kobe Leonessa) and TANIKAWA Momoko (JFA Academy Fukushima) in the 68th minute, followed by NAKASHIMA Yoshino (Sanfrecce Hiroshima Regina) in the 79th minute, to spark Japan's late comeback. In the 84th minute Tanikawa was fouled inside the box to earn a penalty kick, which was converted by Endo. Four minutes later, Tanaka Mina connected with Shimizu’s cross to level the scores.

Despite Japan’s late rally, Brazil retook the lead with the goal scored by Priscila FLOR during additional time to win the match 4-3.

The Nadeshiko Japan will play another friendly against Brazil on Sunday, 3 December at Cicero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium in Sao Paulo.

Coach and Players' Comments

IKEDA Futoshi, Head Coach of Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team)
First of all, I would like to congratulate the Brazil Women's National Team for their victory. Despite the short preparation time and the conditions, our players ran hard until the end and fought back from behind to equalise at one point. We are disappointed with the result but would like to commend the players for their efforts. It was a fulfilling match as we were able to test some aspects of our game ahead of the final qualifiers for next year's Olympic Games. When I watched the Brazil-Canada game last month, I felt that Brazil pressed aggressively, that their attacking players created space for each other and used it well, and that they had enough power to score goals after winning the ball. We went into the game with the mindset of staying compact, limiting their attacks and trying to control the game by planning to win the ball in the middle of the pitch. We started off by setting up a block in midfield, but when we were down 1-3, I instructed the three attackers to put more pressure on their back line. Although it made our back line vulnerable, it allowed us to score two goals back and I really felt that our players responded well to execute our game plan today.

FP #2 SHIMIZU Risa (West Ham United/England)
Both teams fought hard throughout the 90 minutes, but our lack of quality at the end is something we need to address as a team. Although we were able to come from behind from a two goal deficit, we ended up conceding the decisive goal at the end, and I personally feel like I could have applied more pressure in that scene. We have another match coming up soon, so we want to work on the issues we saw today and prepare our conditions ahead of the match. Brazil have always been a powerful team, but today they showed even more athleticism and pace. Looking back at the time when we conceded back-to-back goals, I thought we could have taken our time to get back into the game. As a defender, it is unacceptable to concede four goals in a game, so we hope to use this experience to put in a better performance in our next game in three days' time.

FP #7 MIYAZAWA Hinata (Manchester United/England)
We didn't expect to dominate possession in this game, but I also feel that we didn't apply enough pressure defensively. Despite that, I felt we were able to fight as a team, no one felt rushed after conceding a goal and I think we were able to find space and anticipate the next move. It is unfortunate that we conceded two goals in a row, but I think we showed how much we have grown as a team by coming back from a two-goal deficit. But if we want to get better, we need to be able to win games like this. After scoring their fourth goal, our opponents were visibly exhausted, and it is not that we didn’t give it our all, but it really shows their determination to win. It felt like our opponents really took control of the game after scoring those two goals, and as an attacker I feel responsible for not being able to find a response to regain our momentum. We don't want to go home empty-handed, so we'll do everything we can to win the next game.

FP #12 KOGA Toko (JFA Academy Fukushima)
I was a bit nervous going into the game and felt a bit stiff, and there were a few times when I was passive in the build-up and passed the ball back too early. But defensively, I feel I was able to win the ball against bigger and more athletic players. Our style of play is to build our attacks from the back, so even against an aggressive opponent like Brazil, I need to be able to play with confidence and try to take them on to free myself up. As the game progressed, I was able to move according to the position of my opponents and use the space in front of me to carry the ball and pass it down the line. Today's game has given me a bit more confidence and I want to continue working on being more tenacious in defence and making passes that make it easier for my teammates in offence.

FP #15 FUJINO Aoba (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza)
Personally, I am really glad that I was able to score. Being available for crosses is something I've been working on personally since before the World Cup, so it's positive that I was in a good position. However, there were situations where I should have assessed the situation before making a decision and I think that one shot in the 45 minutes I played is not a satisfactory number, especially considering that long-range shots are one of my strengths. I personally think that the relationship with the side-backs has become one of the most important points in the 4-3-3 formation since the World Cup, and that there will be more situations where we can make use of the overlapping runs of the side-backs. Today I made a conscious effort to stay on the same page with (Shimizu) Risa-san. Facing a physical opponent like Brazil, I tried to find spots where I could free myself up by playing the ball simple, but there were still plenty of scenes where I could have played the ball with my first touch.

International Friendly Match

Fixture: Nadeshiko Japan vs Brazil Women's National Team
Date: Thu. 30 November 15:15 (Fri. 1 December 3:15 Japan time)
Venue: Neo Quimica Arena (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Fixture: Nadeshiko Japan vs Brazil Women's National Team
Date: Sun. 3 December 11:00 (Sun. 3 December 23:00 Japan time)
Venue: Cicero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Match information

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