HOME > NEWS > Nadeshiko Japan win final prep-match for the FIFA Women's World Cup™ 5-0 in the MS&AD Cup 2023


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Nadeshiko Japan win final prep-match for the FIFA Women's World Cup™ 5-0 in the MS&AD Cup 2023

15 July 2023

Nadeshiko Japan win final prep-match for the FIFA Women's World Cup™ 5-0 in the MS&AD Cup 2023

On Friday, 14 July, the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) faced the Panama Women's National Team in the MS&AD Cup 2023 held at Yurtec Stadium Sendai, where they won 5-0.

In the final training match scheduled ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™, Head Coach IKEDA Futoshi gave ISHIKAWA Rion (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies) her first start. ENDO Jun (Angel City FC/USA), who joined the team in Sendai, started as the left fullback, while TANAKA Mina (INAC Kobe Leonessa), FUJINO Aoba (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza), and MIYAZAWA Hinata (Mynavi Sendai Ladies) featured the frontline.

Japan took the initiative from the onset, as NAGANO Fuka (Liverpool FC) and HASEGAWA Yui (Manchester City) continuously delivered passes into the attacking third. The opening goal came in the 33rd minute when SHIMIZU Risa (West Ham United) chased down a long feed from Hasegawa before launching a lobbing shot that went over the reach of Panamanian goalkeeper Yenith BAILEY and into the net. Just four minutes later, Hasegawa scored a goal of her own by responding to a through ball from Tanaka and calmly finding the back of the net.

The introduction of UEKI Riko (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza) and SEIKE Kiko (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies) at halftime did not fade Japan’s momentum, as they continued to dictate the pace of the game. In the 60th minute, the ball was connected through KUMAGAI Saki (AS Roma), MINAMI Moeka (AS Roma), Seike, and Miyazawa, before Fujino buried a shot from close range to record her first international goal. Hasegawa made if 4-0 just a minute later, when her shot took a deflection off a Panamanian defender before finding the back of the net. Minami added another goal in additional time to cap off Japan’s 5-0 victory.

After the match, a send-off ceremony was held, in which Ms. SAWA Homare, former Nadeshiko Japan player, and Mr. MORIYASU Hajime, Head Coach of the SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team), appeared as guests. At the ceremony, Sawa encouraged the players to “go out there and enjoy the game you love,” while coach Moriyasu called out to the stands, “Let's all support this magnificent squad chosen by Coach Ikeda.” Team captain Kumagai was applauded by the crowd of 10,206, when she concluded the ceremony by saying, “We will do our best to compete against the world and become a inspiration to all girls who play football. Please give us your support.”

Nadeshiko Japan will continue training in Sendai until the following day on Saturday, before finally heading to New Zealand to compete in the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™.

Coach and Players' Comments

IKEDA Futoshi, Head Coach (Nadeshiko Japan)
We started the match with a game plan of setting a block in the midfield, watching our opponents to eliminate the space behind our defence, and applying enough pressure to nullify the opponents’ offence. I am pleased with the way we scored in the first half, tried different combinations of players in the second half, won with a clean sheet, and stayed focussed throughout the game. We would like to thank our supporters for creating this wonderful atmosphere in the stadium, making it a fruitful game for us before we head to the World Cup.

DF #3 MINAMI Moeka (AS Roma/Italy)
There were times when we weren’t functioning well as a team, but we continued to communicate with each other and challenged ourselves throughout the match. Early in the first half, we recognised that our defence was not working well, and I think we did a terrific job of fixing the problems whenever we got the chance to do so. (Reflecting on her goal) It came from a set-piece, and I will continue to anticipate for opportunities like that in our future matches. We had talked about how cold it is in New Zealand and how we needed to keep moving during a VAR check, so we made a conscious effort to do that during this game.

MF #10 NAGANO Fuka (Liverpool FC/England)
To be honest, I think we could have scored more goals and played a bit more aggressively to win the ball in the first half. We constantly reminded each other to keep our composure but I wish I could have shown more aggression to initiate attacks from defence, which is an aspect I hope to improve ahead of the World Cup.

MF #14 HASEGAWA Yui (Manchester City/England)
In the last few matches, (Nagano) Fuka and I have been making conscious efforts to get ourselves more involved in our offence, so it was great that we were able to create chances by making runs into the spaces behind the opposing defence line. I didn't have much opportunity to play in Japan after the Corona pandemic, so it was refreshing to hear the chants and cheering during the warm-up. It lifted my spirits and made me really happy because it created such a wonderful atmosphere for our final match before the World Cup.

MF #15 FUJINO Aoba (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza)
As I played in more matches, I felt more and more pressured to score a goal for the national team, so I am really relieved that I was able to score my first goal in my 10th cap. I will continue to do my best to score goals and contribute to the team’s victory.

MS&AD Cup 2023

Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) vs Panama Women's National Team
Date: Fri. 14 July 2023 19:05
Venue: Yurtec Stadium Sendai, Miyagi
Tournament information

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