Long-serving Japan coach Norio Sasaki has confirmed he will be leaving his post on Wednesday following the Nadeshiko’s 1-0 win over DPR Korea at the AFC Women’s Olympic Football Tournament Rio 2016 qualifiers.
Sasaki had been in charge of Japan since the 2008 East Asian Cup, and in his eight years at the helm, won the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup as well as a silver medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
But Sasaki was unable to guide Japan to a fourth straight Olympic Games after his side eventually finished third in the six-team qualifiers in Osaka.
“Leaving the team doesn’t mean that I lose all responsibility for us not qualifying. Now the players have to look ahead to future competitions,” said 57-year-old Sasaki.
“My first game in 2008 was also against a very strong DPR Korea team. They were aggressive and we fought with them really well. That was the start and I felt like the players could really achieve something.”
Japan failed to win any of their first three games in Osaka after losing to eventual qualifiers Australia and China either side of a draw with Korea Republic.....