Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Chonburi: Japan maintained their record of qualifying for every FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, beating China PR by a Momo Nakao (pictured below, right) goal to secure third place at the AFC U-16 Women’s Championship in Thailand.
Seen by a Finals record crowd of 1,677, Nakao’s powerful second half strike made all the difference against a committed China PR, and came after Japan had missed a penalty just before half-time.
The result means Naoki Kusunose’s side will return to a competition where they have reached three finals – becoming FIFA U-17 world champions in 2014.
Japan made three changes to the team who lost on penalties to Korea Republic, including four-goal substitute Tomoko Tanaka, who was reinstated to Naoki Kusunose’s starting 11 for the first time since claiming Player of the Match honours against Bangladesh in the group stage.
China PR – who had an unchanged line-up – showed a much greater attacking verve than against DPR Korea in the semi-final, with the pace of Tang Han causing problems for the Japanese defence, but clear cut chances were not forthcoming.