Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tournaments

Weigh Anchor: Australia, China Draw, Nadeshiko Japan Start New Journey At AFCWOQ

Aya Miyama (R) and Mana Iwabuchi (L) of Japan applaud the supporters after the AFC Women's Olympic Final Qualification Round match between Japan and North Korea at Kincho Stadium on March 9, 2016 in Osaka, Japan. March 09, 2016| Credit: Kaz Photography

What an Asian Football Confederation Olympic Qualifying Tournament we have had. The last match day has finally concluded, and an era of Japanese women’s football dominance has finally ended peacefully in the streets of its nation’s kitchen, the world-famous city of Osaka, Japan.

Embed from Getty Images

We start with the match between Yoon Duk Yeo’s Taeguk Ladies of South Korea and Mai Duc Chung’s Golden Girls of Vietnam. At the Yanmar Stadium, under the sobering lament of Mother Nature mourning the end of an era in the Land of the Rising Sun in the form of torrents of cold, pounding rain, goals from Lim Seon Joo (8′, 18′), Jeon Ga Eul (85′) and Lee Geunmin (69′) powered South Korea to a clinical, professional, emancipating 4-0 victory.

“Despite the results before today, our players did their best against Vietnam. Throughout the tournament there have been some problems we need to improve, and with that in mind we need to develop more in order to be able to compete against other nations in Asia,” Yoon said. “I mentioned about needing to score more goals before this game because our attackers and the team as a whole had failed to do so despite the fact we had been creating chances.

“In today’s match we scored after seven minutes and that made it easier for us to manage the game. We still have lots of things to improve, especially offensively. I think the team has the ability to create chances and score a variety of different goals, so that is one thing we have to work on.”

“We were the only team to qualify for this final qualification round. We came to compete with the highest level of Asian teams and I am satisfied with how my players did,” Mai added. “We learned a lot. First of all, we have improved our skill and technical play – particularly by playing the likes of Australia and China. They showed us many good things so our players will improve in the future. We are making programmes for women and children looking towards the long term, and in the near future we want to reach the top level in Asia.”

Embed from Getty Images

Alen Stajcic’s Matildas of Australia were looking to fine tune their game against Bruno Bini’s Steel Roses of China. Instead, they had a challenging affair, going behind on 16 minutes courtesy of Ma Xiaoxu. It took the 85th minute for the Matildas to force a 1-1 draw courtesy of a screamer, a rippa, a beauty, a killa dilla of a shot from Emily van Egmond, the daughter of accomplished managerial mind Gary van Egmond, who happens to be an assistant to Stajcic.

Embed from Getty Images

In the end, the night would really belong to the fallen, the falling cherry blossoms, the Nadeshiko Japan fleet of Admiral Norio Sasaki. A frustrating affair against Kim Kwang Min’s Chollima Ladies of North Korea awaited them at the Kincho Stadium. It took all of 80 minutes, but it was the future of the team, 22-year-old forward Mana Iwabuchi of Bayern Munich, who delivered a strike that set the wheels in motion for the start of a new journey.

The 1-0 victory over North Korea for the Nadeshiko started a new chapter in their history as the skies parted and the rain stopped. The long road to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France began with that exact goal. And it also began a sister chapter, that of the long road to Tokyo 2020, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Embed from Getty Images

It seemed the flowers of the current logo were blooming over the Nadeshiko in spirit. Those players knew that as the hosts of the next games, the onus would be to pass to torch to a new generation of players to don the blue strip with pink accents, and resurrect the wishes of a nation that continues to stand by its female football fleet until the end of time. Changes will have to be made, the torch will have to be passed, a transformation is now in the offing.

Embed from Getty Images

So while the Matildas and the Steel Roses will continue preparations and make difficult choices regarding selection and priorities ahead of the world’s biggest sporting party this calendar year, Japan is continuing its plans to rise like a phoenix and once again challenge the best in the world, the best indeed and succeed, specifically against…

Embed from Getty Images

The USA Women’s National Team. Weigh Anchor.

Teams P W D L GF GA GD PTS
AUSTRALIA 5 4 1 0 17 3 14 13
CHINA P.R. 5 3 2 0 7 3 4 11
JAPAN 5 2 1 2 10 7 3 7
KOREA REPUBLIC 5 1 2 2 6 5 1 5
DPR KOREA 5 1 2 2 4 5 -1 5
VIETNAM 5 0 0 5 1 22 -21 0

Keep it right here on The Stoppage Time, powered by Azteca Soccer, for more world football news. Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Comments

More Footy You May Also Like

World Cup

Nacer Chadli scored with the last kick of the game to send Belgium into an mouthwatering Quarter-final tie against Brazil in Kazan on Friday. The Belgians...

World Cup

Japan reached the last 16 of the World Cup by having a better disciplinary record than Senegal – after losing to Poland in their...

World Cup

Mexico’s first two matches in the 2018 FIFA World Cup could not have gone any better. They entered Wednesday’s match against Sweden with six...

World Cup

Defending champions Germany have been eliminated from the 2018 World Cup after losing to South Korea in Kazan. Kim Young-gwon’s 92nd-minute goal, awarded after...

World Cup

Peru got their first win at a World Cup finals since 1978 as they beat Australia in the last match of the tournament for...

World Cup

Japan and Senegal remain well placed to reach the knockout stage of the World Cup – and a last 16 date with England or...

World Cup

Javier Hernandez scored his 50th international goal to help Mexico take a big step towards the last 16 of the World Cup with an...

Advertisement