Tokyo: She may not have been present at Chonburi Stadium, but Yuna Hazekawa featured prominently in Japan’s celebrations after they beat DPR Korea in the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 final on Saturday.
The 16-year-old defender was a key part of the Little Nadeshiko’s preparations for Thailand 2019, only to be ruled out of the tournament by an injury sustained just a week before their opening match.
Despite her absence, Hazekawa became a motivational figure for Japan, something that was evident after her teammates beat DPR Korea 2-1, with the Seiwa Gakuen High School student’s number five jersey taking pride of place on the podium as the trophy was awarded.
Chonburi: Triumph, heartbreak and numerous fabulous goals later, one of the best ever editions of the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship has come to an end, with Japan becoming the champions for a record fourth time.
As the sun sets on another edition of the competition, the-AFC.com reflects of some of the moments which made Thailand 2019 a tournament to remember.
Chonburi: Michihisa Kano hailed the composure of his victorious Japan side after they won the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 title on Saturday.
The Little Nadeshiko produced their best performance of the tournament to beat a previously irresistible DPR Korea 2-1 in the final at Chonburi Stadium, becoming the first nation to win the tournament four times and denying their East Asian rivals a third successive title.
Making Japan’s success even impressive was the fact that they achieved it having fallen a goal behind within the opening 10 minutes, with terrific goals from Suzu Amano and Manaka Hayashi overhauling Hong Song-ok’s opener.
Chonburi: Japan emerged victorious at the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019, outlasting defending champions DPR Korea 2-1 in a gripping final at Chonburi Stadium on Saturday.
Two goals in four first-half minutes from Suzu Amano and Manaka Hayashi helped Japan overturn an early Hong Song-ok penalty and end DPR Korea’s four-match winning run in the tournament.
The win makes Japan the first nation to win the competition four times, as head coach Michihsia Kano’s charges followed on from previous successes at the U-17 level in 2005, and U-16 triumphs in 2011 and 2013.
While Japan claimed the title, both nations will represent Asia at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020.
Chonburi: Both their teams may have missed out on a place in the final but for China PR head coach Chan Yuen Ting and her Australian counterpart Rae Dower, the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 delivered what they had expected from the Continental tournament.
China PR displayed immense determination to bounce back from a first-minute deficit to beat Australia 2-1 on Saturday to finish third in the Championship for a fourth time.
Despite their respective teams' missing out on a place in the 2020 FIFA U-17 World Cup India, both coaches were extremely satisfied that the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship Thailand 2019 gave the players valuable experience.