Tokyo: Futoshi Ikeda will lead defending champions Japan at AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022, after he was confirmed as the new Nadeshiko head coach.
The 50-year-old replaces Asako Takakura, who led the team to the 2018 continental title in Jordan before resigning following a quarter-final exit at the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
It is expected that Ikeda will head the women’s national team at three major tournaments in as many years, with the imminent AFC Women’s Asian Cup India 2022 to be followed by the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand as well as the 2024 Paris Olympics, should Japan qualify.
AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar: How Group A stands
Kuala Lumpur: With the AFC Asian Qualifiers – Road to Qatar returning on October 7 for another crucial pair of double-headers, the-AFC.com brings you up to speed with how things look in Group A.
After two rounds of fixtures, the heavyweights of Islamic Republic of Iran and Korea Republic have already stamped their authority on the group, with the Iranians leading the way following back-to-back wins over Syria and Iraq, and the Koreans two points back after drawing against Iraq and beating Lebanon.
Dragan Skocic's Iran have been arguably the most impressive side in the AFC Asian Qualifiers to date, with Alireza Jahanbakhsh rediscovering his mojo since returning to the Eredivisie to join Feyenoord. The former Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder netted the only goal on Matchday One as his side edged Syria before opening the scoring in an emphatic 3-0 win over neighbours Iraq.