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U-17 Japan Women's National Team loses to New Zealand in Quarterfinals of FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018

25 November 2018

U-17 Japan Women's National Team loses to New Zealand in Quarterfinals of FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018

On Saturday 24 November, the U-17 Japan Women's National Team faced the U-17 New Zealand Women's National Team in the quarterfinals of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018 and lost the match in penalty shootouts.

After traveling from Maldonado to Colonia, Japan rotated six of their players from their starting line-up in their match against the U-17 Mexico Women's National Team. The match started with the New Zealand side applying aggressive pressure from their front line to induce mistakes from the Japanese players. The Japanese defence led by their captain MATSUDA Shino showed their persistence as they blocked away the long throws delivered by the New Zealand side.

The opening goal came in the 17th minute, when New Zealand’s Macey FRASER delivered a corner kick from the right side, which Amelia ABBOTT converted to take the lead. It was the first time for Japan to concede the opening goal in this tournament.

Despite being forced to play defence for a long stretch, Japan finally found their way to score a goal in the 31st minute. From their quick ball movements, OSAWA Haruka and KINOSHITA Momoka combined well to deliver the ball to YAMAMOTO Yuzuki who dribbled up the field before launching a shot. Her shot was blocked by the opposing goalkeeper, but Kinoshita was there to take another shot off the loose ball, inducing an own goal by Hannah MACKAY-WRIGHT at the goal line, levelling the match at 1-1 before halftime.

The second half saw Japan taking the initiative, as they took control of the ball at the central area and distributed the ball to the flanks. With players like MORITA Misaki and KAMIYA Chiina entering the match as substitutes, the Japanese offense gain more momentum as time progressed. In the 67th minute, Kamiya came close to scoring the go-ahead goal with her shot, followed by a cross delivered from the left flank which Kinoshita almost converted with her header, but their efforts came short from finding the back of the net.

Japan kept on attacking until the final minute of the match, as NAKAO Momo’s left footed shot taken just outside of the penalty box in additional time was saved by the opposing goalkeeper. The match ended with a score of 1-1 in regulation time, as the match entered penalty shootouts to determine the winner.

With Japan taking the first kick, Matsuda’s attempt was denied by New Zealand’s goalkeeper Anna LEAT. Japan’s second kicker Kinoshita made her spot kick, but the third kicker TOMIOKA Chihiro failed to convert her attempt. While the fourth kicker Kamiya and fifth kicker YOSHIZUMI Warai made their kicks, with the New Zealand side successfully converting four out of five kicks, Japan lost the match in penalties with a score of 3-4.

As a result, U-17 Japan Women's National Team was eliminated from the tournament at the quarterfinals.

Players’ Comments

GK #1 OHBA Shu (JFA Academy Fukushima)
With the New Zealand side covering us in a man-to-man mark in the first half, we struggled to move the ball around, while our long-balls lacked accuracy. On the other hand, our opponents created many opportunities from their long-throws, making it a really tough first half. We managed to reset our minds during halftime and pick up our pace in the second half. We created a good momentum by collecting the ball to our midfielders to move the ball around, however, we still struggled to score goals. Throughout this tournament, we were given the opportunity to face many foreign teams and players. It gave us the experience to feel the speed and strengths of the players abroad. I will work to give my best performance in any given circumstances in the future, while staying thankful to be given the opportunity to play against foreign teams. I will continue to challenge myself to heighten my level as a player. Once I return to Japan, I will utilise this bitter experience to prepare myself ahead of the U-20 Women’s World Cup and other tournaments.

MF #7 MATSUDA Shino (Nippon TV Menina)
Although we conceded from a set-play, we managed to stay composed to equalise the match within the first half. We entered the second half with a strong determination to take the lead, but we still lacked quality to make that happen. I personally felt the need to improve myself so that I can lead the team in those tough situations. After the match, Coach IKEDA told us that this is not the end of our journey, and we must feed off of this bitterness to thrive at the next World Cup. I will certainly not forget this feeling. Through today’s match, I strongly felt that I lacked a sense of responsibility. I needed to be much more vocal, while I still need to improve myself in both the technical and mental aspect, so that I can lead the team.

MF #16 KINOSHITA Momoka (Nippon TV Menina)
I feel like we were already thinking about the next match and failed focus on the match in front of us. That is why we couldn’t enter the match in a good form. When we conceded the opening goal, it made me feel hasty, but at the same time it made me commit myself to score a goal during the first half. That sense of urgency might have helped us score the equaliser. In the AFC Championship, I have focused on assisting or scoring goals in moments where the team needs me the most, and although I managed to help the team score a goal today, it was not enough. So, in that sense, I feel the need to improve myself ahead of our future tournaments. The world standard is set at a much higher level. Our opponents were much faster and stronger. Facing such opponents, we need to make the difference with our techniques, which we weren’t able to showcase during this tournament. We knew we would have a disadvantage in physiques, so, we tried to fill that gap with our techniques, decision makings, and teamwork, but apparently, it was not enough. In order for us to win these matches, we must get better in all of those aspects. As Coach Ikeda mentioned after the match, we must feed off of this experience and pay back in the next World Cup. Either it’s with the U-17 or U-20 team, I will give my very best to win the title.

Schedule

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018
Sun. 11 - Mon. 12 November AM/PM Training
Tue. 13 November 0-0 1st Group Stage Match vs Brazil
(Estadio Domingo Burgueño Miguel)
Wed. 14 - Thu. 15 November AM/PM Training
Fri. 16 November 6-0 2nd Group Stage Match vs South Africa
(Estadio Domingo Burgueño Miguel)
Sat. 17 - Mon. 19 November AM/PM Training
Tue. 20 November 1-1 3rd Group Stage Match vs Mexico
(Estadio Domingo Burgueño Miguel)
Wed. 21 - Fri. 23 November AM/PM Training
Sat. 24 November 1-1
3 PK 4
Quarterfinals vs New Zealand
(Estadio Profesor Alberto Suppici)

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

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018

Tournament Dates: Tue. 13 November - Sat. 1 December 2018

Tournament Information

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