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HOME > Nadeshiko Japan > NEWS > 【Match Report】Nadeshiko Japan win second friendly against Brazil 2-0


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【Match Report】Nadeshiko Japan win second friendly against Brazil 2-0

04 December 2023

【Match Report】Nadeshiko Japan win second friendly against Brazil 2-0

On Sunday, 3 December, the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) played their second international friendly match against the Brazil Women's National Team, ranked ninth in the FIFA rankings, at Cicero Pompeu de Toledo Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where they won 2-0.

Head coach IKEDA Futoshi made five changes to the starting line-up from Thursday's match. TANAKA Momoko (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza) started between the sticks with a back line of MINAMI Moeka (AS Roma), KOGA Toko (JFA Academy Fukushima), ENDO Jun (Angel City FC) and SHIMIZU Risa (West Ham United). Team captain KUMAGAI Saki (AS Roma) continued to anchor the midfield, with SUGITA Hina (Portland Thorns FC) and HAYASHI Honoka (West Ham United) playing as the two central midfielders. NAOMOTO Hikaru (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies) and FUJINO Aoba (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza) were deployed on the flanks, while TANAKA Mina (INAC Kobe Leonessa) started as a central striker.

Brazil came close to scoring in the third minute when Koga's attempt to intercept a pass almost resulted in an own goal, but Tanaka Momoko's was able to catch the deflection off the post.

Japan opened the scoring for the second match in a row when Minami converted Endo's corner in the 17th minute. Two minutes later, Tanaka Mina doubled Japan's lead with a long-range shot that caught the goalkeeper off guard.

With a two-goal lead, Japan switched to a 3-4-3 formation for the start of the second half, with ISHIKAWA Rion (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies) coming on as part of a three-man defence and HASEGAWA Yui (Manchester City) coming on as an anchor in midfield. MIYAZAWA Hinata (Manchester United) was also introduced but had to be substituted shortly afterwards due to injury. As a result, NAGANO Fuka (Liverpool FC) came off the bench to play as a defensive midfielder, while Hasegawa was pushed into a more advanced role.

The introduction of veteran player, Marta VIEIRA, gave Brazil momentum, but the Japanese defence displayed great coverage to keep the home side at bay. In the 86th minute, UEKI Riko (West Ham United) came close to converting Shimizu’s cross with a header, but her attempt went wide of the goal. Fresh rookies, TANIKAWA Momoko (JFA Academy Fukushima) and Koga also made their presence felt in defence, as they contributed to Japan’s 2-0 shutout victory.

With this victory, the Nadeshiko Japan have finished their Brazil tour with a record of one win and one loss against the Brazil Women’s National Team.

After a triumphant end to their last campaign in 2023, Nadeshiko Japan are now entering the Olympic year. The team will be aiming to win the Women's Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024 Asian Qualifiers in their bid to win the gold medal in France.

Coach and Players' Comments

IKEDA Futoshi, Head Coach of Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team)
I am delighted that the players fought hard in this tough, hot environment to win the game 2-0. Against the tight Brazilian marking we had seen in the first game three days earlier, one of our objectives in the second game was to create space and exploit it. Defensively, we made a conscious effort to communicate with each other and react to the opponent’s fluid movements. Brazil played in a 4-2-3-1 formation in the first game, but today they used a different system. It gives us a lot of confidence that we have been able to adapt to these changes and win. I think it was a good simulation for the final round of the Olympic qualifiers to play against the Brazil Women's National Team in back-to-back matches and I really appreciate that we were able to play in a stadium with this atmosphere

GK #18 TANAKA Momoko (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza)
My condition was not bad, and I had been preparing for a long time, so I was able to play with a good image, especially in stopping shots. However, I still have a lot of work to do in a lot of areas, so I felt a great sense of relief when I got this result. We had conceded four goals in the first game, so my first priority was not to concede any goals, but once I got on the pitch there were so many decisions to make in different situations, so I concentrated on adapting my game to the situation rather than thinking about how the first game went. I need to improve my game when I get back to my team and consistency is key for me to become a better player. I believe I have got to this stage because of all the work I have put in, so I will continue to work hard to get back into this team.

FP #4 KUMAGAI Saki (AS Roma/Italy)
The experience of playing away from home against such strong opponents in such a good environment will be useful in the upcoming Olympic qualifiers. Knowing we only had two matches to play, we focused on winning both of them, but ended up losing the first match after coming back to tie the match 3-3 at one point, and the defeat made us realise what we were lacking as a team. The mistake I made in the first match was inexcusable, and opponents will certainly take advantage of such mistakes at the international level. I have nothing but regrets, but I have to make the most of the experience, because I believe that the only way to make up for the mistakes I made on the pitch is to play better next time. In that sense, I was able to play today's game without letting my past failures get the better of me, and I was very determined to live up to the expectations that the coach had placed on me. From now on, we will be playing matches that we cannot afford to lose, so we must make winning our top priority. These games have been a great simulation for the games to come.

FP #11 TANAKA Mina (INAC Kobe Leonessa)
After losing the first game, we went into the second looking to get results while also increasing what we could do as a team. This win was mentally huge for us, especially knowing we have a long flight back home. I noticed that the opposition goalkeeper was well off her line, so I was anticipating for my opportunity to shoot from distance. When I received the ball, I put the ball to my left to avoid being blocked and tried to lift the ball over the goalkeeper's head, but the actual shot was not what I intended, so I was surprised when it went in. Compared to playing in a 3-4-3 formation, we tend to get more people involved in the attacking third when we play 4-3-3, and I feel like I can keep a good distance from my teammates. I would have liked to have exploited the space between the opposition back line more often and made fewer mistakes when possessing the ball in the attacking third.

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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