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HOME > National Teams > U-17 Women 2022 > NEWS > 【Match Report】U-17 Japan Women's National Team advance to knockout stage with win over Canada - FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™


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【Match Report】U-17 Japan Women's National Team advance to knockout stage with win over Canada - FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™

16 October 2022

【Match Report】U-17 Japan Women's National Team advance to knockout stage with win over Canada - FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™

On Saturday 15 October, the U-17 Japan Women's National Team played their second group stage match of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™ against the U-17 Canada Women's National Team at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.

Japan scored four goals to secure their second straight 4-0 victory. With Tanzania's win over France in the earlier match, Japan have secured their spot into the knockout stage with one match to spare.

Facing a Canadian side who reached the semi-finals in the previous World Cup, coach KANO Michihisa made four changes to their line-up against Tanzania and shifted their formation from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1. KASHIMA Akari was given the start in goal, while SHINJO Miharu, KUBOTA Mao, and HIWATARI Moka
joined the midfield. KONNO Maho, who played as a defensive midfielder in the first match, took on a more advance role beneath the striker, while SHIRAGAKI Uno was dropped back to play as a fullback.

Japan took the initiative through their quick passing and scored the opening goal in the ninth minute, when Kubota struck a right footed shot from distance that ricocheted off the hand of Canadian goalkeeper Coralie LALLIER before finding the back of the net.

With TANIKAWA Momoko and Shinjo facilitating the Japanese passing game, Tanikawa made attempts in the 12th and 18th minute to threaten the opposing goal. Hiwatari connected with a cross delivered by Kubota in the 19th minute, but her shot was saved by Lallier.

The second goal came in the 37th minute, when the shot taken by Shiragaki from the edge of the box took a deflection off of a defender and into the net.

In efforts to add more energy to their offence, Japan introduced MATSUNAGA Miyu to start the second half. Canada on the other hand, sought to create chances by using their individual strengths, but were kept at bay by the Japanese defence who made “conscious efforts to challenge and cover,” according to Shiragaki. In the 52nd minute, Tanikawa responded to a through ball down the left side and dribbled into the box before slotting the ball into the Canadian goal.

Holding a three goal lead, coach Kano introduced OKAMURA Raika and TAKAOKA Mio at the hour mark, before sending SHIBATA Hitomi and WULF Jessica Yuri onto the pitch in the 75th and 79th minutes respectively, giving all 21 players an opportunity to step on the pitch in their first two matches. The coach also made changes to shift the players around, as NAKATANI Rina was moved up from her centre-back position to play in midfield.

During additional time, Takaoka, who responded to a cross delivered by OYA Sakura, was brought down inside the box. After the play was reviewed by VAR, Japan was awarded with a penalty kick, in which Takaoka converted to make it 4-0. Japan kept their opponents at bay with 33 shots to Canada's seven and punched their ticket to the knockout stage with a total team effort.

Japan will now face France on Tuesday 18 October with the group lead on the line.

Coach and Players' Comments

KANO Michihisa, Head Coach of U-17 Japan Women's National Team
I am proud of the players for preparing well and showcasing a solid performance on the pitch to earn this result. We have worked hard to ensure that the players understood their roles when they played in different positions or entered the match as substitutes, which paid off in these two matches, and I feel that we have grown a lot as a team. Watching how the other groups are being played out, you get the feeling that it is not easy to win at the World Cup. The fact that we were able to win back-to-back matches at this stage shows how well we have prepared ourselves within the short period of time. Ahead of our next match against France, we will focus on recovering our conditions so that we can build a positive momentum for the knockout stage.

MF #8 SHINJO Miharu (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Menina)
Our coach told us before the match that the battles in the midfield will be the key, so I entered the match with that in mind. I was always conscious of placing the ball within my own reach to prevent being overpowered by my opponents. It was good that everyone was able to stay connected, create chances through short passes, and respond to the speed of the opponents without losing composure. I was really impressed by the crowd’s energy when we scored. I will give my utmost effort so that we can finish the group stage on a high note.

MF #14 TANIKAWA Momoko (JFA Academy Fukushima)
I am glad we were able to advance through the group stage with a total team effort. The fact that I was able to actively get involved with the ball and work in tandem with Shinjo helped the team pick up a positive rhythm from the outset. It was great that I was able to make good use of the adjustments we made during halftime to score a goal. We will continue to work as a team so that we can enter the knockout stage in good shape.

FW #2 SHIRAGAKI Uno (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Ladies)
I am so happy that I was able to score in back-to-back matches. Right fullback is the position I play at my club, so I just focused on playing my usual game. Following our first match, we made conscious efforts to improve the way we kept distance with each other, passing speed, and our communication during the match. Canada had players with great speed, so we were very careful not to let them loose. We will continue to give our best efforts so that we can win our next match against France.

FW #9 HIWATARI Moka (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Menina)
I wasn’t able to capitalise on my opportunities in the first match, so I entered the second match determined to score goals. (Reflecting on an opportunity she had) I was able to make good contact, but couldn’t place the ball well, so I want to be able to convert those chances next time. I feel like I was able to possess the ball well in both matches, but I still need to improve the way I take shots. It’s frustrating that all the forwards have scored except myself, but I should be happy that the team is winning, so I will try to score goals that will lead the team to victory next time. It’s great that we are able to play in front of such energetic crowd. I was really happy when the crowd started to chant for Japan.

FW #11 MATSUNAGA Miyu (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Menina)
Watching the game from the bench, I heard cheers for every pass, dribble, and shot, which really made me want to get on the pitch as soon as possible. I was told to attack aggressively when I entered as a substitute. Canada applied a lot of pressure against us, so it was hard to dribble the ball, but I am proud of the way I attacked them. However, I wasn’t able to score any goals, so I will try to take more shots in our next match. Through these matches, I have gained confidence that my dribbling skills, especially when I have momentum, are effective at the world stage. I will continue to build on my strengths so that I can showcase a strong performance against stronger opponents. A lot of my teammates from my club are also playing on this team, and they have been very inspirational. I will do my best to demonstrate my strengths and actively take shots within the time I am given on the pitch.

FW #15 TAKAOKA Mio (Fujieda Junshin High School)
I was fired up thinking, “I can’t wait to get out there and score,” while watching the match from the bench. Compared to Tanzania, who consisted of players with great athleticism, Canada had more players with technique and speed. The fact that we were able to create chances through our combination plays was a good thing. Although my spot kick was blocked by the goalkeeper, I am glad I was able to convert the deflection. We are now through the group stage, but our goal is to top the group, so if I am given the opportunity to play, I will do my best to score goals that can help the team win.

FW #19 KUBOTA Mao (Fujieda Junshin High School)
I was given the opportunity to start in a match, so I was fully determined to score a goal. After failing to pull the trigger in my first attempt, I had no hesitation taking a shot second time around. When I scored the goal, all of my teammates came to celebrate, and I was so excited to hear the crowd cheer for us. I will continue to make efforts to get myself involved in our team’s goals and help the team win against France.

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™

Tournament Dates: Tue. 11 - Sun. 30 October 2022

Group Stage
1st Match: Wed. 12 October 20:00 vs U-17 Tanzania Women's National Team
2nd Match: Sat. 15 October 20:00 vs U-17 Canada Women's National Team
3rd Match: Tue. 18 October 20:00 vs U-17 France Women's National Team
*Time shown in local time

Tournament Information

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