AFC Youth Player of the Year (Women) 2018: Saori Takarada
Muscat: Japan's Saori Takarada was named the AFC Youth Player of the Year (Women) at the 2018 AFC Annual Awards in Muscat on Wednesday.
The award is richly deserved as Takarada played a sterling role in Japan winning the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup for the first time in August.
In a Japanese side that grew in strength as the tournament progressed, Takarada contributed five goals, including one in the final which saw the Young Nadeshiko defeat Spain 3-1 with Takarada winning the Player of the Match award.
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Winning the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup also helped Takarada, 19, forget the bitter memory of the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup,where Japan lost the final to DPR Korea following a penalty shootout, with Takarada missing a gilt-edged chance in normal time and also failing to convert her spotkick.
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