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U-20 Japan women's squad brace themselves for World Cup semi-final against France

28 November 2016

U-20 Japan women's squad brace themselves for World Cup semi-final against France

With only two more days prior to the semi-final of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016 against France, on Sunday 27 November, the U-20 Japan Women's National Team had their training session from the evening when the high temperature came down. The players were well rested after having a day off yesterday. Today they switched their mind and prepared for the upcoming match. The training started with possession and shooting exercises. To finish up the 90-minute practice, they had eight-a-side intrasquad scrimmages with one additional neutral player on the pitch.

The semi-final match U-20 Japan vs. U-20 France will kick off at 19:30 (Japan Time 18:30) on Tuesday 29 November.

Players' Comments

We have played against teams with speed and toughness, and my perception of France is that they have ‘individual skills’ in addition to those strengths. I think Japan’s strength is having a high-level teamwork, but we won’t be able to get through without individual skills from now on. We need to make faster decisions to initiate quicker attacks. In the match against Brazil, we played better after reflecting on our issues found in the previous matches. I will attack the French goal aggressively and try mid-range shots as well.

DF #3 KITAGAWA Hikaru (Urawa Red Diamonds Ladies)
I want to contribute to the team’s victory by defending and stopping the key French players who initiate quick transition attacks. I also want to support our offence by running a lot, regardless of whether I get the chance to receive the ball or not. I think we can steal the ball if we make a quick transition from offence to defence. This is a one-time life experience, and therefore I want to enjoy myself once I get the chance to be on the pitch. In fact, I have been playing with a positive mentality even when I could not play well. I just keep telling myself that I will definitely play better next time. I will continue with this positive mentality in the next match.

If we can take dynamic mid-range shots in addition to our neat plays in front of the goal, then I think we can threaten France. For the past 4 matches, I spent most of time defending, but this time I want to contribute more on offence and hopefully I can score a goal.


FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Papua New Guinea 2016
Sun. 13 November 6-0 vs  Nigeria (Bava Park)
Mon. 14 November AM/PM Training
Tue. 15 November AM/PM Training
Wed. 16 November 0-1 vs  Spain (Bava Park)
Thu. 17 November AM/PM Training
Fri. 18 November AM/PM Training
Sat. 19 November AM/PM Training
Sun. 20 November 5-0 vs  Canada (National Football Stadium)
Mon. 21 November AM/PM Training
Tue. 22 November AM/PM Training
Wed. 23 November AM/PM Training
Thu. 24 November 3-1 Quarterfinal
vs Brazil (National Football Stadium)
Fri. 25 November AM/PM Training
Sat. 26 November AM/PM Training
Sun. 27 November AM/PM Training
Mon. 28 November AM/PM Training
Tue. 29 November 19:30 Semifinal vs France (Sir John Guise Stadium)
Wed. 30 November AM/PM Training
Thu. 1 December AM/PM Training
Fri. 2 December AM/PM Training
Sat. 3 December 16:00/19:30 3rd place play-off/Final (National Football Stadium)

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

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