World Cup history and the footsteps of Nadeshiko Japan, looking back on all 8 tournaments
FIFA Women's World Cup China PR 1991
The inaugural tournament was held at China PR on November 1991, where Japan lost all three matches played. The team was led by Coach SUZUKI Tamotsu, team captain NODA Akemi (Current coach of Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara), and the current coach of Nadeshiko Japan, TAKAKURA Asako was one of the players at this tournament. This tournament gave Japan a major reality check, especially with the 0-3 loss at the group stage against the USA, who eventually won the tournament.
17 November 1991 New Plaza Stadium, Foshan(CHN)
Group matches JAPAN 0-1 BRAZIL
19 November 1991 New Plaza Stadium, Foshan(CHN)
Group matches JAPAN 0-8 SWEDEN
21 November 1991 New Plaza Stadium, Foshan(CHN)
Group matches JAPAN 0-3 USA
FIFA Women's World Cup Sweden 1995
The second edition of the tournament was held at Sweden in 1995, where Japan faced Germany in the tournament opener. Despite losing the match 0-1, Japan went onto earn their first victory at the Women's World Cup, when they defeated Brazil, thanks to the two goals scored by Noda. In this tournament, Japan advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time, but lost to the USA with a score of 0-4. It was Norway who won the title, as they showcased great fire power by scoring 23 goals in six matches played. SAWA Homare made her first Women's World Cup appearance at this tournament, first of six tournaments she would play in.
5 June 1995 Tingvalla, Karlstad (SWE)
Group matches JAPAN 0-1 GERMANY
7 June 1995 Tingvalla, Karlstad (SWE)
Group matches JAPAN 2-1 BRAZIL13', 45' NODA Akemi
9 June 1995 Arosvallen, Vasteras (SWE)
Group matches JAPAN 0-2 SWEDEN
13 June 1995 Stroemvallen, Gavle (SWE)
Quarter-finals JAPAN 0-4 USA
FIFA Women's World Cup USA 1999
The USA hosted the third tournament in 1999, where the participating countries increased from 12 to 16. Despite the goal scored by OTAKE Nami in the first match, Japan was eliminated from the group stage without a single win. The USA earn their second title after defeating China PR in penalty kicks at the final where the match attracted 90,185 people, which is a record crowd for the Women's World Cup. This year’s tournament holds another record, as an average of 37,944 people attended the matches, showcasing the popularity of women’s football in the USA.
In the year when the tournament was officially renamed as the FIFA Women's World Cup, the host nation saw a change from China PR to the USA, due to the affect of SARS. Despite their 6-0 victory over Argentina in the first match, Japan lost the following two matches to be eliminated from the group stage. The final was played between Germany and Sweden, where Germany scored the game winner in extra time to earn their first title.
20 September 2003 Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus (USA)
JAPAN 6-0 ARGENTINA
13', 38' SAWA Homare 64' YAMAMOTO Emi 72', 75', 80' OTANI Mio
24 September 2003 Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus (USA)
JAPAN 0-5 GERMANY
27 September 2003 Gillette Stadium, Foxborough (USA)
Japan was eliminated at the group stage with a record of one win, one draw, and one loss, but saw goals scored by MIYAMA Aya and NAGASATO Yuki, gaining precious experience through this tournament. China PR lost at the quarterfinals despite the high anticipation as the host nation, while Germany showed their dominance by conceding zero goals in their six matches to earn their back-to-back Women's World Cup title.
11 September 2007 Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium, Shanghai (CHN)
JAPAN 2-2 ENGLAND
55', 90'+5 MIYAMA Aya
14 September 2007 Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium, Shanghai (CHN)
JAPAN 1-0 ARGENTINA
90'+1 NAGASATO Yuki
17 September 2007 Hangzhou Dragon Stadium, Hangzhou (CHN)
It was a tournament to remember for the Japanese fans. Led by Coach SASAKI Norio, Japan defeated the two-time defending champions Germany at the quarterfinals and bested the USA in penalty kicks at the final to win their first ever tournament hosted by FIFA. Their team captain Sawa was named as the tournament MVP as well as winning the golden boot, boosting the national popularity of Nadeshiko Japan.
27 June 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Bochum (GER)
JAPAN 2-1 NEW ZEALAND
6' NAGASATO Yuki 68' MIYAMA Aya
1 July 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Leverkusen (GER)
JAPAN 4-0 MEXICO
13', 39', 80' SAWA Homare 15' OHNO Shinobu
5 July 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Augsburg (GER)
JAPAN 0-2 ENGLAND
9 July 2011 Arena im Allerpark, Wolfsburg (GER)
JAPAN 1-0 GERMANY
108' MARUYAMA Karina
13 July 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Frankfurt/Main (GER)
JAPAN 3-1 SWEDEN
19', 64' KAWASUMI Nahomi 60' SAWA Homare
17 July 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Stadium, Frankfurt/Main (GER)
JAPAN 2-2 (PSO 3-1) USA
81' MIYAMA Aya 117' SAWA Homare
In the tournament where Japan entered as the defending champions, artificial turf and Goal-line technology were officially employed by the tournament. Although Japan advanced to the final for the second tournament in a row, they lost to the USA, who won their third overall title. From this year, the participating countries of the tournament increased from 16 to 24 and the match numbers went from 32 to 52. As a result, the tournament marked the most attendance in Women's World Cup history, after attracting 1,353,506 people to the matches.
8 June 2015 BC Place Stadium, Vancouver (CAN)
JAPAN 1-0 SWITZERLAND
29' MIYAMA Aya
After a successful tournament in Canada, the 2019 edition was also participated by 24 teams with the assistance of various modern technology. Video Assistant Referees were introduced for the first time in a Women's World Cup. Japan were knocked out at the Round of 16 stge by eventual runners up, the Netherlands but there were plenty of positives to gain for the future for the young Nadeshiko players.