Thursday, 21 Feb 2008  Chongqing, China PR Yongchuan Stadium

Japan 2 1-0
0 Korea Rep.
Korea Rep.
16min. 9/ARAKAWA Eriko
56min. 11/OHNO Shinobu

Japan win two in a row to get the upper hand over defending champions Korea Rep.

Japan aiming for their first title played a tough game versus defending champions, Korea Rep. Japan’s two forwards ARAKAWA Eriko and OHNO Shinobu each scored a goal to give their team a 2-0 win over Korea Rep.

In the 4th minute IWASHIMIZU Azusa got behind the defenders and had a good shot on goal but Korea Rep. GK KIM Jung Mi made a good save. Then at the other end PARK Hee Young’s precise 9th minute through ball put KWON Hah Nul in on goal displaying the strong, physical combination of Korea Rep’s two front players.
 Despite this it was Japan who opened the scoring. In the 16th minute Japanese right MF KINGA Yukari picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch and lost her defender with a clever feint, she delivered a cross which ARAKAWA headed in. Making it 1-0.
 After going behind, Korea Rep’s two front players HAN Song I and PARK Hee Young held on to the ball for longer to give their support time to arrive. In the 26th minute HAN Song I posted up and put KWON Hah Nul in behind the defensive line, she floated a ball over from which PARK Hee Young hit a first time volley. Then in the 31st minute CHA Yun Hee went in on goal following KWON Hah Nul’s through ball.

In the 56th minute, in the second half, Korea Rep.‘s CHO Son Hyun’s gave PARK Hee Young a ball which she shot from close range. Japan’s second goal came directly from the counter attack following this close call. OHNO ran solo down the wing following a long ball up to her. From that run she took a right footed shot. The smallest attacker on the pitch, 154cm, made a big impact with that goal.
Korea Rep. continued to attack through KWON Hah Nul’s mazy runs and CHO So Hyun’s shots but still they couldn’t score. Japan had 20 shots, over twice the number of shots that Korea Rep. had (9) but still couldn't add a third goal. With this 2-0 win, their second in a row, Japan take the upper hand in this tournament.
Following the win Japanese head coach SASAKI Norio said “We all knew we had to play our style of football against this young, modern Korea Rep. team. The girls did it. We beat Korea Rep decisively playing our high quality Nadeshiko style”. Losing Korea Rep. coach AN Ik Soo said “It was unfortunate we couldn't last physically until the end, we are still a young team so we should emphasize the attitude rather than the result”.

Text by YOSHIDA Taro




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