AFC President praises Japan for historic FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title
Kuala Lumpur: AFC President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa has congratulated Japan for capturing their first-ever FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup title after defeating Spain 3-1 in a thrilling final at the Stade de la Rabine, Vannes in France on Friday evening.
Shaikh Salman said: “Japan can take immense pride in their victory. Their remarkable display in France exemplifies our Vision and Mission to ensure our teams shine on the world’s biggest stage.
“On behalf of the Asian football family, I would like to congratulate the Japan Football Association for strengthening the foundation for the women’s game to thrive. I have no doubts that this historic triumph will serve as a catalyst to take women’s football to even greater heights.
“Asia has been a global force in the women’s game and this latest achievement confirms the AFC’s position as the new standard bearers in the world of women's youth football.”
Goals from Hinata Miyazawa, Saori Takarda and Fuka Nagano gave the Japanese a 3-0 lead from which Spain were unable to recover, despite Candela Andujar's consolation. The historic win makes Japan the first country to complete the trifecta of Women's World Cups at senior, U-20 and U-17 levels, and the first new name of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup trophy since DPR Korea in 2006.
The Young Nadeshiko’s near flawless journey in France continued Asia’s astonishing rise on the ultimate stage, which now sees the Continent’s teams grab their second consecutive title after DPR Korea completed the memorable double victory in both the U-17 and U-20 Women’s FIFA World Cup in 2016. Friday’s final was also the sixth appearance by an Asian side since the tournament began in Canada 2002.
Futoshi Ikeda’s side were also recognised for their outstanding performances on the pitch with Saori Takarada and Moeka Minami clinching the Silver and Bronze ball awards respectively. Takarada also claimed the tournament’s Bronze boot after grabbing five goals and three assists for her side.
Japan also collected the Fair Play award for having received the fewest yellow cards during the tournament.
Photos: FIFA via Getty Images