Nadeshiko Japan must “Stay on the same page and strive to win” against England at the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019
19 June 2019
On Tuesday 18 June, one day ahead of their third and final group stage match of the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019, the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) held a training session in the morning, followed by an official press conference held in the afternoon, where coach TAKAKURA Asako and NAKAJIMA Emi attended.
The first 15 minutes of the training session was opened to the media, as the players were seen going over their tactics ahead of the match against the England Women’s National Team. While the session only lasted about an hour, the players kept their focus to conduct a productive training session ahead of the pivotal match that will determine the rankings within the group.
With both teams completing two matches each, Japan is currently in second place with four points, while England leads the group with six points. A win in this match will give Japan the group lead and put them in position to face the third-place finisher of either Group B, E, or F, on Sunday 23 at Valenciennes. The standings will remain the same in case of a draw, and Japan will be facing the winner of Group E (either Netherlands or Canada) at Rennes on Tuesday 25. A loss to England will mean that Japan’s fixture will be determined depending on the results of the match between Scotland and Argentina. If Scotland wins or draws the match, Japan will finish in second place, while goal differentials will come in play in case Argentina wins the match. If Japan finishes in third place, they will be facing the Group B leader, Germany on Saturday 22 at Grenoble.
Coach Takakura and Nakajima appeared in the official press conference held at the match venue, Stade Nice in the afternoon. While the coach described England as, “An opponent with no weak points in their line-up. We will have to showcase are best possible performance in order to win the match.” Nakajima shared her thoughts ahead of the match, “The team must stay on the same page and strive to finish the group stage in a high note.”
Nadeshiko Japan’s third group stage match against the England Women’s National Team will take place on Thursday 19 June at 21:00 local time (Friday 20 June at 4:00 Japan time).
DF #4 KUMAGAI Saki (Olympique Lyonnais)
As we strive to take one step at a time towards our ultimate goal, we are relieved to accomplish our first goal of advancing through to the knockout stage. Following the match against Argentina, the players spent a long time discussing with each other to come up with ways to heighten our performance, and our victory over Scotland has given us great confidence moving forward. We hope to continue on this upward trend, where our performance improves over each match. Compared to Scotland, England is a team with more power, speed, and technique. We will strive to enter the match the way we did against Scotland, play with confidence, and make the necessary adjustments on the field to earn a win against England.
MF #15 MOMIKI Yuka (Nippon TV Beleza)
We didn’t really earn our ticket to the knockout stage, as our spot was clinched with the results of other matches. However, our ultimate goal is set much higher, so we must win against England to secure a more favourable spot at the knockout stage. The two goals we scored against Scotland brought true joy to the team. As much as I want to play on the pitch and score goals for the team, the team victory is our primary focus, so we will all strive to win the match, whatever it takes. With the team consisting players from many generations, it is not an easy task to get everyone on the same page, but once we are united as one, we can exert an enormous amount of power as a unit.
FW #9 SUGASAWA Yuika (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies)
Although we have clinched our spot into the next round, it is important that we advance as the group leader, so we will give our best efforts to win against England tomorrow. England has the height advantage over us, and they are also very strong in one-on-one duels. That is why we must not take an individual approach and apply more numbers upfront to find the opportunities to score goals. If we can keep our composure, we should be able to finish our plays with a shot, so we will take our time and select the right opportunities to pounce on. Our next match is expected to be a tough match, but we will challenge our patience and seek to capitalise on our chances to earn the victory.
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
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