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Nishio awarded Most Valuable Player, Hamano Top Scorer

Chonburi: Japan's Hanon Nishio was named the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 Most Valuable Player after a phenomenal tournament.

Teammate Maika Hamano, meanwhile, won the Top Scorer award to cap a successful tournament for Japan, who lifted the trophy for the first time since 2013.

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Nishio was a standout player for Japan, who clinched their fourth Continental title after beating DPR Korea 2-1 in the final on Saturday.

The striker made an impact every time she played, scoring two goals against Thailand, before striking once in the semi-final against China PR as the young Nadeshiko secured a 2-0 victory.

She came off the bench in the second half against rivals DPR Korea, and although she couldn't etch her name on the scoresheet, her presence and skill played a huge role in Japan holding off their resurgent East Asian rivals.

“DPR Korea are a very aggressive team and were a tough team to beat, but we used our strengths, speed and power, and played well against such a team and won," said Nishio.

“I feel like I’m not really the MVP for this tournament, but I appreciate my teammates' support. Without them, I wouldn’t be here, and I thank them and our supporters."

Hamano emerged topscorer with five goals to her name.

The striker opened her account on MatchdayTwo against Bangladesh, scoring twice in Japan's 9-0 emphatic win.

She continued her fine form when they faced Thailand next as she broke the deadlock in the 28th minute, before striking once again four minutes into the second half.

It was Hamano's goal in the second half against China that sealed their victory and a place in the 2020 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup India.

DPR Korea won the Fairplay Award.

Photos: AFC

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