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Nadeshiko Japan end FPF Algarve Cup 2015 with 2-0 victory

12 March 2015

Nadeshiko Japan end FPF Algarve Cup 2015 with 2-0 victory

FPF Algarve Cup 2015
Wed. 11 March 2015  Kickoff 12:15  Playing time: 90 min (45min x 2)
Algarve Stadium (Algarve, Portugal)

Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team)   2-0 (1st 0-0, 2nd 2-0)  Iceland Women’s National Team

Scores
47’   MIYAMA Aya (Japan)
59’   MIYAMA Aya (Japan)

Starters
GK:   FUKUMOTO Miho
DF:   ARIYOSHI Saori, IWASHIMIZU Azusa (C), KAMIONOBE Megumi, TANAKA Asuna
MF:   SAMESHIMA Aya, SAKAGUCHI Mizuho, UETSUGI Rumi, NAGASATO Asano
FW:  ANDO Kozue, TAKASE Megumi

Substitutes
GK:   KAIHORI Ayumi, YAMANE Erina
DF:   KINGA Yukari, KUMAGAI Saki, KAWAMURA Yuri
MF:   MIYAMA Aya, KAWASUMI Nahomi, OHNO Shinobu, UTSUGI Rumi
FW:  OGIMI Yuki, SUGASAWA Yuika

HT   NAGASATO Asano → MIYAMA Aya
HT   TAKASE Megumi → OGIMI Yuki
HT   UETSUGI Rumi → UTSUGI Rumi
75’   ANDO Kozue → OHNO Shinobu
75’ KAMIONOBE Megumi → KAMIONOBE Megumi

Non-registered member
FW   YOKOYAMA Kumi

Match Report

Nadeshiko Japan played their last match against Iceland, against whom they have never played before, to finish the FPF Algarve Cup 2015. Japan made significant changes from the starting line-up for the match against France - Ariyoshi, Iwashimizu, Tanaka and Kamionobe as defenders, Uetsuji and Sakaguchi in midfield, Nagasato and Sameshima on each wing, and Takase and Ando up front started the game. Japan kept possession from the beginning, looking for goal-scoring opportunities. However, even though the players crossed or got through to the centre, they could not get any shots away. After 40 minutes, Japan passed the ball around to press the opponent, and Kamionobe took a shot, only for it to miss the goal. Although both Ariyoshi and Nagasato reacted to the loose ball, staying ambitious, they could not find the back of the net.

In the second half, Japan changed their system and formation, just as Sasaki, the head coach, mentioned beforehand. Then the match kicked on. Miyama reacted to a cross from Utsugi, who came off the bench after half time, and struck the opener. Then 10 minutes after that, Miyama scored once more through a cross from Kamionobe, stretching Japan's lead. Ogimi played harmoniously with Ohno, who came in midway, pressing the opponent toward the goal. The score did not change, and Japan won the game 2-0. Nadeshiko Japan finished their 5th Algarve Cup in ninth place.

During this tour, Nadeshiko Japan played four matches, and found many issues to be fixed along the way. At the same time, the players got to know each other better through some tough games. Sameshima said about their last match: ‘we enjoyed ourselves.’

Three months remain before the FIFA Women's World Cup. Each player will return to their respective club teams, in order to improve their playing quality, while bearing in mind the national team’s tasks. The players will get together again in May. After the players for the World Cup are selected, the team will play against New Zealand in Kagawa on Sunday 24 May, and against Italy in Nagano on Thursday 28 May. Then the team will fly to Canada.

Head Coach and Players' Comments

SASAKI Norio, Head Coach
In the first half, I mainly used the players who had had a shorter playing time in this championship. As the players knew it’d affect the selection of players for the World Cup, the players showed good performances despite being nervous. In the second half, I used the formation, which I indicated before the game. Both Sakaguchi and Utsugi played as defensive midfielders, controlling the ball, while Miyama focused more on attacking. They played as I expected, working excellently. I have to say, this attempt will be of some help in order to build a team. Because Iceland approached with their defence, we could improve ourselves in the match.

In the meeting before dismissing the team, I’d like to share with the players how to improve the quality within the remaining three months, in terms of the passing in defence, which we found out was an issue during the championship. Through trial and error, I think we found our direction for the FIFA Women's World Cup in June. It’s essential to play realistically, following the game’s movement and the game of the opponent, and not to focus too much on the ideal. We’d like to get ready by improving our stamina as well as our conditioning, so that we’ll top the first round and stay for the semi-final. I believe we can do it.

SAKAGUCHI Mizuho (Nippon TV Beleza)
As the opponent didn’t press from the front in the first half, we could move the ball around. It changed in the second half with some counter-attacks, which was very tough. The problem in the first half was that there weren’t many effective passes, because the distance between the players wasn’t good. In the second half, as there were more midfielders with the formation change, there were more passing opportunities and we could attack not only from the sides, but also from the centre. We could attack in more various ways. I’m gutted with finishing in ninth place. Having said that, we tried out many players and new systems in this championship. In the future I’d like to think this result could be accepted in given the timing. After returning back to our respective club teams, I’d like to get ready for playing against international players. I’d like to contribute to the team.

UTSUGI Rumi (Montpellier Herault Sport Club/France)
Although the score stayed at 0-0 in the first half, from the bench I didn’t think the timing of our plays was bad at all. When I came off the bench, I started to play, staying ambitious for goals. As I had been watching the game off the pitch, I could play bearing in mind what I saw. Not only the front players, but also the players in the second and the third line need to be involved in the attack towards the goal, with more variations. I’d like to research the kind of game, which the opponent dislikes, while we play our style.

OGIMI Yuki (VFL Wolfsburg)
We played rhythmically in the first half, hoping to create some goal-scoring opportunities. After changing the formation, we all pressed forward and shared a good attacking vision. We could try more variations and use each player’s skill in the second half. I’d like to play in the same way even though the opponent is stronger. We found some tasks during this championship ? how to start the game and how to stay patient physically and mentally through the whole 90 minutes. We need to balance the mind and body even more, as well as improve ourselves individually. It all comes down to how much we can improve, as we found tasks for the individual and for the team. I’d like to get ready within the remaining three month before the World Cup.

ARIYOSHI Saori (Nippon TV Beleza)
In the first half, despite the fact we could pass the ball around, we couldn’t find the back of the net. In the second half, after changing the formation, we could pass the ball up front swiftly and pass it again near the goal. I’m pleased we scored in a good way. As a player on the left wing, I could have received the ball in the centre, playing towards the goal. As France pressed with many defenders with individual skills when we had our attacking opportunity, we gave some space away if we didn’t keep good distance between the players. It was difficult to press back. However, today we played from what we learned and could make sure where the ball started. If we defend well, we can attack better. I’d like to keep playing well even against stronger opponents.

Schedule

  FPF Algarve Cup 2015
Wed. 4 March 1-2 v  Denmark   @Bela Vista Munic Stadium - Parchal
Thu. 5 March AM/PM Training
Fri. 6 March 3-0 v  Portugal   @Algarve Stadium
Sat. 7 March AM/PM Training
Sun. 8 March AM/PM Training
Mon. 9 March 1-3 v  France   @Bela Vista Munic Stadium - Parchal
Tue. 10 March AM/PM Training
14:30 Pre-Final Press Conference (featuring coaches, captains of finalists)
Wed. 11 March 2-0 9th place playoff  v Iceland   @Algarve Stadium

*Local Time

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