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HOME > National Teams > U-17 Women 2022 > FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™ TOP > NEWS > 【Match Report】U-17 Japan Women's National Team beat France 2-0 to advance through group stage with three consecutive victories - FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™


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【Match Report】U-17 Japan Women's National Team beat France 2-0 to advance through group stage with three consecutive victories - FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™

19 October 2022

【Match Report】U-17 Japan Women's National Team beat France 2-0 to advance through group stage with three consecutive victories - FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™

On Tuesday 18 October, the U-17 Japan Women's National Team played their third group stage of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India 2022™ at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, where they faced France, the champions of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Azerbaijan 2012™. Having won two matches in a row, Japan had already qualified for the knockout stage, while France, who had drawn one and lost one, needed a win to stay in the tournament, but Japan won 2-0, to mark their third consecutive victory and advance to the quarterfinals as group leaders.

After all 21 players on their roster took the pitch in the first two matches, Japan made five changes to their starting line-up from their previous match, as TAKAOKA Mio and OKAMURA Raika were given their first start of the tournament. As coach KANO Michihisa mentioned, “We need a win that can give us momentum heading into the finals,” the team played with great aggression from the outset.

KUBOTA Mao, who received a pass from TSUJISAWA Ai, struck the first shot just 30 seconds into the game, while TANIKAWA Momoko tested her luck from distance in the second minute. The shot taken by Tsujisawa in the ninth minute was denied by the woodwork.

France, on the other hand, sought for their opportunities through counterattacks. In the 17th minute, Fanny ROSSI broke through the left side to take a shot, but Japanese goalkeeper IWASAKI Uruha made a fine save to deny this opportunity.

Japan’s early aggressive came to fruition in the 29th minute, when Tanikawa received a pass from Takaoka and snuck a shot into the corner of the French goal, as the midfielder scored in her third consecutive match.

In the 36th minute, France created a chance from the left side, but KOGA Toko made the block in front of the goal, and in the 39th minute, the Japanese defence held firm against a wave of attacks, with YOSHIOKA Kokoro making a tenacious effort to defend the goal.

Leading by a goal, Japan made three changes to start the second half. Facing a French side who kept their defence compact in anticipation to initiate counterattacks, Japan kept possession of the ball with their well-paced passes. In the 51st minute, SHIBATA Hitomi struck a shot from distance, while HIWATARI Moka tried to convert a shot off of a cross in the 60th minute.

In the 78th minute, ITAMURA Mao showcased a superb individual effort to break down the left side and fired a shot that struck the post. Although Shibata was there to collect the deflection, France's gritty defence did not allow her to add to their tally.

Japan’s second goal came during additional time of the second half, when KUSUNOKI Sayami struck a header off of a corner kick. With the substitutes revitalising the team, Japan managed to earn their third consecutive shutout victory to advance to the knockout stage for the seventh consecutive World Cup.

Japan will now face the defending champions Spain in the quarterfinals on Saturday 22.

Coach and Players' Comments

KANO Michihisa, Head Coach of U-17 Japan Women's National Team
We played a very tough match against a French side who were in a must win situation but managed to cap off the group stage on a high note. The players did well to make adjustments to the opponent’s physical strengths, balls behind the defence line, and crosses. I think our defence has improved quite a bit through these three matches. I think we still have room for improvements in terms of how we keep distance and balance with each other, the precision and quality of our runs, and other technical aspects. Ahead of our next match against Spain, we will first focus on recovering our conditions and prime the players with the necessary data so that they can showcase their best performance on the pitch.

GK #1 IWASAKI Uruha (Nojima Stella Kanagawa Sagamihara Due)
There were some tough stints, but the defenders did well to minimise the threats, which really showed how much this team has grown over the course. The French players took their shots in a unique timing, which made it difficult to respond, but once I managed to stop the first shot, I was able to gain confidence from there on. I was able to find out that my long-feeds and saving skills were effective at this level, but I still need to do a better job providing directions from behind. Spain is a really strong opponent, so we will continue to work hard as a team to win against them.

DF #3 OKAMURA Raika (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies Youth)
I usually play centre-back, and this was my first time playing side-back in an international tournament. We were against a team with great speed, so I made conscious efforts to cover the space down the line and defend collectively with my teammates. The support on the pitch and the encouragement from the bench were all very helpful. France consisted of players who were very good at penetrating the space behind the defence line, which reminded me that I need to get better at dealing with the long balls in order to compete at the international level. It was very nerve-racking, but I also had a lot of fun playing such serious match against another country.

DF #17 KOGA Toko (JFA Academy Fukushima)
Knowing that France were in a must win situation, we were anticipating for them to apply a lot of pressure from their front line. I think Japan's strength lies in the fact that each player can defend with tenacity and a sense of responsibility, and I felt that our defence could be effective against even the most physical teams in the world. We will continue to work together as a team and do our best to win the title without conceding any goals. We lost to Spain in the U-20 Women's World Cup, so we want to return the favour by winning and move on to the next stage.

MF #4 KUSUNOKI Sayami (Cerezo Osaka Sakai Girls)
When I scored the goal, the delivery was so good, I just needed to make contact with the ball. I prepared myself so that I can contribute to the team when the opportunity came, and I am glad I was able to do just that in today’s match. This team is capable of competing regardless of who is on the pitch, so we will continue to fight as a team in the knockout stage. I think I can contribute to the team by playing tenacious defence and scoring from set pieces, as I did today, so those are some of the aspects I will be focusing on in our next match against Spain.

MF #14 TANIKAWA Momoko (JFA Academy Fukushima)
Having seen footage of Kevin DE BRUYNE before the match, I had a feeling I might be able to dribble in at an angle and get a shot off. I was able to control the ball and execute the play just as I wanted. I managed to showcase a solid performance because I made conscious efforts to stay connected with my teammates. However, there were some chances I could have capitalised on, so I still need to improve in that regards. Spain have players from FC Barcelona, so we really need to prepare ourselves well in order to win our ticket to the semi-finals.

FW #11 MATSUNAGA Miyu (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Menina)
France have many tall, powerful, fast and technical players, and it was a good learning experience for us, as they are an opponent who will not be easily beaten unless you get creative with your plays. I personally felt like I could have played more aggressively, and there were scenes where I could have taken a shot, so next time I get a chance to play, I want to score a goal that will help the team win. We have three days to prepare for the quarterfinals, so we will try to make the most of the time we have in order to showcase our best performance against Spain.

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
Knockout Stage
Quarterfinals: Sat. 22 October 20:00 vs U-17 Spain Women's National Team
*Time shown in local time

Tournament Information

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