Nadeshiko Japan’s 3 years leading to the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 under Coach Takakura
21 May 2019
It’s been three years since Coach TAKAKURA Asako was appointed as the coach of Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team) in April 2016. Upon assuming the role, Coach Takakura mentioned during the press conference, “The younger generations have achieved great success, and I was prepared to receive the baton if it was offered to me.” The coach shared her aspiration to evolve the Nadeshiko Japan who has reached the world’s pinnacle in their championship campaign at the FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011, “My job is to polish up on the team’s past success and lead the players to an even higher place.”
After playing matches against the western powerhouses like the USA and Sweden, the Nadeshiko Japan entered their first international tournament under the helm of Coach Takakura at the FPF Algarve Cup 2017 held in March 2017. While winning their match against Norway, the team finished the tournament in sixth place, as the coach later reflected, “We lacked urgency and the ability to detect danger at crucial moments.”
Later that year, the EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2017 Finals were held at Fukuda Denshi Arena, Chiba, in December. The Nadeshiko Japan won their matches against Korea Republic and China PR but lost to DPR Korea 0-2 in their third and final match to finish as the runners-up. With the team entering the tournament with a strong intention to win the title, this match gave the players a bitter experience that will lead to their success in the following year.
The AFC Women's Asian Cup Jordan 2018, held in April 2018, was the first Asian title won by the Nadeshiko Japan under Coach Takakura. Despite finishing in second place in the group stage, the team won over China PR at the semi-finals, followed by their victory over Australia at the final to secure their second consecutive title. IWABUCHI Mana (INAC Kobe Leonessa), who was named as the tournament MVP, mentioned after the tournament, “After starting off as a new team, we are getting better from each and every match we play.”
The Nadeshiko Japan was crowned with another Asian title just four months later, when they played in the 18th Asian Games 2018 Jakarta Palembang. The team endured an exhausting match against China PR at the final, but the team prevailed at the end with the deciding goal scored by SUGASAWA Yuika (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies) to earn their second Asian Games title, and their second Asian title of the year.
This year, with the FIFA Women's World Cup scheduled ahead of them, the team travelled to Europe to face teams that are also striving to achieve greatness at the World Cup. At the press conference to announce the final roster for the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019, Coach Takakura stated, “Looking at our track records against these teams, it will be difficult to win against them in a dominating fashion.” However, the coach continued by sharing her aspiration, “It will be a difficult challenge, but if we don’t strive to win the title, it can never be achieved, so we will make our efforts to win the title,” showing her commitment has never changed since arriving to the helm three years ago.
In order for the Nadeshiko Japan to achieve greatness once again, the coach mentioned, “We have been preparing for this Women’s World Cup the whole time.” Coach Takakura and the Nadeshiko Japan’s challenge at the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019 will start on Friday 7 June.
FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
Tournament Dates: Fri. 7 June - Sun. 7 July 2019
Tue. 11 June 2019 01:00 (Japan time)
vs Argentina Women's National Team
Fri. 14 June 2019 22:00 (Japan time)
vs Scotland Women's National Team
Thu. 20 June 2019 04:00 (Japan time)
vs England Women's National Team
- National Teams 2019/05/15 “We will carry everyone’s hope and fight until the very end” Interview with Coach Takakura (2nd half) - FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
- National Teams 2019/05/14 “I want to show the world Japan’s football” Interview with Coach Takakura (1st half) - FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
- National Teams 2019/05/11 Coach Takakura of Nadeshiko Japan announces squad for the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
- National Teams 2019/05/10 Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team) Squad, Schedule - FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
- National Teams 2019/06/16 Nadeshiko Japan arrives in Nice ahead of their third group stage match against England at the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
- National Teams 2019/06/16 U-22 Japan National Team finishes as runners-up after losing to Brazil in penalty shootouts at the 47th Toulon International Tournament 2019
- National Teams 2019/06/16 Players visit ruins of the Great East Japan Earthquake and participate in cultural exchange programme to learn about Japan - U-16 INTERNATIONAL DREAM CUP 2019 JAPAN presented by Asahi Shimbun
- National Teams 2019/06/15 Brazil opens the action with victory – Preview of the CONMEBOL Copa America Brazil 2019
- National Teams 2019/06/15 Nadeshiko Japan gets a step closer to the knockout stage with a 2-1 victory over Scotland at the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019