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Japan's Kanno wins Most Valuable Player 


Chonburi: Oto Kanno was awarded the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 Most Valuable Player on Saturday after guiding Japan to their sixth title.

Kanno was a standout player throughout the tournament for Japan, who defeated DPR Korea 2-1 in the final at the Chonburi Stadium.

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The talented midfield maestro made an impact in every game for the young Nadeshiko, scoring two goals and contributing three assists in Japan’s perfect run to the title.

Kanno showed her knack for goals when she scored a spectacular effort against Korea Republic during the group stage and contributed from the spot in their 7-0 win against Australia in the semi-finals.

In the final against DPR Korea, Kanno again showed why she is the Most Valuable Player when she contributed an assist leading up to Hana Takashi’s goal.

“Overall, our team are not physically imposing but we make up for that with our technical abilities on the pitch and I think there's more we can do to improve as a team," said Kanno.

“As a player there are various aspects of my game that need improvement, for example, I couldn’t score today (against DPR Korea).

“Playing in the FIFA U-20 World Cup is no easy feat. You will be up against the world’s best. But my long-term goal is to be selected for the senior national team.

“I’m not satisfied with winning the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship. Our work is not over as we have to start planning for the World Cup.”

Japan, meanwhile, also won the Fairplay Award.