Japan women's national football team

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Japan
なでしこジャパン
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) なでしこジャパン (Nadeshiko Japan)[1]
Association Japan Football Association
Sub-confederation EAFF (East Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Norio Sasaki
Captain Aya Miyama
Most caps Homare Sawa (193)
Top scorer Homare Sawa (81)
FIFA code JPN
FIFA ranking 3 Steady
Highest FIFA ranking 3 (23 December 2011)
Lowest FIFA ranking 14 (July 2003)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 India 1–0 Japan 
(Jakarta, Indonesia; 21 January 1986)
Biggest win
 Japan 21–0 Guam 
(Guangzhou, China; 5 December 1997)
Biggest defeat
 United States 9–0 Japan 
(Charlotte, United States; 29 April 1999)
World Cup
Appearances 7 (First in 1991)
Best result Winners, 2011
Asian Cup
Appearances 15 (First in 1981)
Best result Winners, 2014

The Japan women's national football team, or Nadeshiko Japan (なでしこジャパン), is a selection of the best female players in Japan and is run by the Japan Football Association (JFA). Japan defeated the United States in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final in a penalty shootout, becoming the first Asian team to win the FIFA Women's World Cup.

History of Nadeshiko Japan[edit]

70s and 80s[edit]

During the 1970s, the number of women football players and teams increased in Japan, and teams made up regional leagues in various parts of Japan. In 1980, "All-Japan Women's Football Championship" was held, and in 1981 the Japan women's national football team played its first international match in Hong Kong. The team continued playing matches in Japan or in other countries, but it was not an "All Japan" national team but a temporarily organized team selected from the regional leagues.[2]

In 1986, Ryohei Suzuki was selected as the coach of the Japan women's national football team, the first "All Japan" team. In 1989, the "Japan Women's Football League" (abbreviated to "L. League") was established, and the women’s national team qualified for the "1991 FIFA Women's World Cup" in China.

Crisis years[edit]

Japan women's national football team attended various championship tournaments such as the 1996 Summer Olympics and the 1995 FIFA Women's World Cup which had made the national team and the L. League very popular. However, in 1999, Japan failed to qualify for the 2000 Summer Olympics, and this helped to cause the withdrawal of a series of teams from the L. League. Japanese women’s football was on the verge of decline.

Regeneration[edit]

In August 2002, the Japan Football Association appointed Eiji Ueda, who had been coach for the Macau national football team, as the new head coach. Officials expected a revitalization of women's football and planned a team reorganization, aiming for the 2004 Summer Olympics. The team at first went through a losing streak, but Ueda gradually improved the team, and it eventually gained wide support in Japan. In particular, a game against Korea DPR, which decided who would participate in the 2004 Olympics, not only made fans rush to the National Stadium but also was widely watched on TV.

Following the increase in public interest in women's football in Japan, the JFA organized a public contest to select a nickname for the team. "Nadeshiko Japan" was chosen from among about 2,700 entries and was announced on 7 July 2004. "Nadeshiko", a kind of dianthus, comes from the phrase "Yamato Nadeshiko" (大和撫子, "ideal Japanese woman").

2011 FIFA Women's World Cup[edit]

Nadeshiko, 2013

Japan qualified for the finals by finishing third in the 2010 AFC Women's Asian Cup. After finishing second in their group behind England, Nadeshiko Japan beat two-time defending champion and host nation Germany 1–0 in the quarterfinals, before easily defeating Sweden 3–1 to reach the final.

After the final game finished 2–2 after extra time, Japan beat the United States 3–1 in a penalty shootout, becoming the first Asian team to win the FIFA Women's World Cup.[3][4]

2012 Summer Olympics[edit]

Japan qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics by finishing first in the Asian qualifier in September 2011, only 6 weeks after winning the Women's World Cup. After finishing second in their group behind Sweden, Nadeshiko Japan defeated Brazil 2–0 in the quarterfinals, followed by the 2–1 victory over France, whom Nadeshiko had lost to in a friendly match right before the Olympics, to reach the final.

Nadeshiko was unable to win the gold medal by losing at the final game against United States, allowing two goals to Carli Lloyd at 8th and 54th minutes, and some critical goal attempts saved by Hope Solo, who allowed only one goal by Yūki Ōgimi.

Nadeshiko Japan's international competition records[edit]

World Cup[edit]

Olympic Games[edit]

AFC Asian Cup[edit]

Hosts / Year Result GP W D* L GS GA GD
Hong Kong 1975 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Taiwan 1977 Did not enter - - - - - - -
India 1979 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Hong Kong 1981 Group stage 3 1 0 2 1 3 -2
Thailand 1983 Did not enter - - - - - - -
Hong Kong 1986 Runners-up 4 2 0 2 14 4 +10
Hong Kong 1989 Third place 5 4 0 1 37 1 +36
Japan 1991 Runners-up 6 4 1 1 27 6 +21
Malaysia 1993 Third place 5 4 0 1 29 4 +25
Malaysia 1995 Runners-up 5 4 0 1 27 3 +24
China 1997 Third place 5 4 0 1 33 1 +32
Philippines 1999 Fourth place 6 4 0 2 36 6 +30
Chinese Taipei 2001 Runners-up 6 4 0 2 30 5 +25
Thailand 2003 Fourth place 6 4 0 2 34 4 +30
Australia 2006 Fourth place 5 3 0 2 19 6 +13
Vietnam 2008 Third place 5 3 0 2 19 7 +12
China 2010 Third place 5 4 0 1 16 2 +14
Vietnam 2014 Winners 5 4 1 0 16 3 +13
Total 13/18 71 49 2 20 338 55 +283
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

EAFF Women's Football Championship[edit]

Hosts / Year Result Pld W D* L GF GA GD
South Korea 2005 Third place 3 0 2 1 0 1 -1
China 2008 Champions 3 3 0 0 8 2 +6
Japan 2010 Champions 3 3 0 0 7 1 +6
South Korea 2013 Runners-up 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1
Total 4/4 12 7 3 2 18 6 +12
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Asian Games[edit]

Hosts / Year Result GP W D* L GS GA GD
China 1990 Runners-up 5 3 1 1 17 8 +9
Japan 1994 Runners-up 4 2 1 1 9 3 +6
Thailand 1998 Third place 5 3 0 2 18 7 +11
South Korea 2002 Third place 5 3 1 1 8 3 +5
Qatar 2006 Runners-up 5 4 1 0 21 1 +20
China 2010 Champions 4 3 1 0 6 0 +6
Total 6/6 28 18 5 5 79 22 +57
*Draws include knockout matches decided on penalty kicks.

Schedule and results[edit]

Date Venue Opponent Result* Competition Japanese scorers
20 June 2013 Tosu Stadium, Tosu
 Japan
 New Zealand[5] 1–1 D Friendly match Ōgimi Goal 21'
26 June 2013 Pirelli Stadium, Burton Upon Trent[6]
 England
 England 1–1 D Friendly match Kawasumi Goal 76'
29 June 2013 Allianz Arena, Munich[7]
 Germany
 Germany 2–4 L Friendly match Ohno Goal 40'
Ōgimi Goal 60'
20 July 2013 Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul
 South Korea
 China PR[8] 2–0 W 2013 EAFF Women's East Asian Cup Ando Goal 36'
Nakajima Goal 58'
25 July 2013 Hwaseong Stadium, Hwaseong
 South Korea
 North Korea 0–0 D 2013 EAFF Women's East Asian Cup
27 July 2013 Jamsil Olympic Stadium, Seoul
 South Korea
 South Korea 1–2 L 2013 EAFF Women's East Asian Cup Ōgimi Goal 73'
22 September 2013 Nagasaki Athletic Stadium, Isahaya
 Japan
 Nigeria 2–0 W Friendly match Ōgimi Goal 36'
Kawasumi Goal 53'
26 September 2013 Fukuda Denshi Arena, Chiba
 Japan
 Nigeria 2–0 W Friendly match Miyama Goal 21' (pen.)
Sakaguchi Goal 28'
5 March 2014[9] Stadium Bela Vista, Parchal
 Portugal
 United States 1–1 D 2014 Algarve Cup Miyama Goal 82'
7 March 2014 Stadium Bela Vista, Parchal
 Portugal
 Denmark 1–0 W 2014 Algarve Cup Iwabuchi Goal 43'
10 March 2014 Estádio Algarve, Faro
 Portugal
 Sweden 2–1 W 2014 Algarve Cup Ōgimi Goal 49'
Miyama Goal 89' (pen.)
12 March 2014 Estádio Algarve, Faro
 Portugal
 Germany 0–3 L 2014 Algarve Cup
8 May 2014 Kincho Stadium, Osaka
 Japan
 New Zealand 2–1 W Friendly match Takase Goal 40'
Sugasawa Goal 86'
14 May 2014 Thống Nhất Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City
 Vietnam
 Australia 2–2 D 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup Polkinghorne Goal 71' (o.g.)
Ōgimi Goal 84'
16 May 2014 Thống Nhất Stadium, Ho Chi Minh City
 Vietnam
 Vietnam 4–0 W 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup Kawasumi Goal 44'87'
Kiryu Goal 65'
Ōgimi Goal 69'
18 May 2014 Gò Đậu Stadium, Thủ Dầu Một
 Vietnam
 Jordan 7–0 W 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup Kira Goal 25'90+3'
Nakajima Goal 45+1'75'
Sakaguchi Goal 49'81'
Alhyasat Goal 69' (o.g.)
22 May 2014 Thống Nhất Stadium, Hồ Chí Minh City
 Vietnam
 China PR 2–1 W aet 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup Sawa Goal 51'
Iwashimizu Goal 120+2'
25 May 2014 Thống Nhất Stadium, Hồ Chí Minh City
 Vietnam
 Australia 1–0 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup Iwashimizu Goal 28'
13 September 2014 ND Soft Stadium Yamagata, Tendō
 Japan
 Ghana Friendly match
25 October 2014[10] Commonwealth Stadium, Edmonton
 Canada
 Canada Friendly match
28 October 2014 BC Place, Vancouver
 Canada
 Canada Friendly match

* Japan score always listed first

Coaches[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The squad selected for the international match vs. New Zealand on 8 May 2014 and the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup.[11]

Caps and goals as of 8 May 2014.

# Name Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
Goalkeepers
1 Miho Fukumoto (福元 美穂) (1983-10-02) 2 October 1983 (age 30) 71 0 Japan Okayama Yunogo Belle
18 Ayumi Kaihori (海堀 あゆみ) (1986-09-04) 4 September 1986 (age 27) 41 0 Japan INAC Kobe Leonessa
21 Erina Yamane (山根 恵里奈) (1990-12-20) 20 December 1990 (age 23) 7 0 Japan JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies
Defenders
5 Megumi Kamionobe (上尾野辺 めぐみ) (1986-03-15) 15 March 1986 (age 28) 25 2 Japan Albirex Niigata Ladies
3 Azusa Iwashimizu (岩清水 梓) (1986-10-14) 14 October 1986 (age 27) 100 8 Japan NTV Beleza
2 Saori Ariyoshi (有吉 佐織) (1987-11-01) 1 November 1987 (age 26) 18 0 Japan NTV Beleza
19 Rumi Utsugi (宇津木 瑠美) (1988-12-05) 5 December 1988 (age 25) 67 5 France Montpellier HSC
4 Yuria Obara (小原由梨愛) (1990-09-04) 4 September 1990 (age 23) 0 0 Japan Albirex Niigata Ladies
23 Shiho Kohata (高畑 志帆) (1989-11-12) 12 November 1989 (age 24) 0 0 Japan Urawa Reds Ladies
22 Ruka Norimatsu (乗松 瑠華) (1996-01-30) 30 January 1996 (age 18) 1 0 Japan Urawa Reds Ladies
Midfielders
10 Homare Sawa (澤 穂希) (1978-09-06) 6 September 1978 (age 35) 194 82 Japan INAC Kobe Leonessa
8 Aya Miyama (宮間 あや) (1985-01-28) 28 January 1985 (age 29) 132 32 Japan Okayama Yunogo Belle
9 Nahomi Kawasumi (川澄 奈穂美) (1985-09-23) 23 September 1985 (age 28) 55 12 United States Seattle Reign FC
6 Mizuho Sakaguchi (阪口 夢穂) (1987-10-15) 15 October 1987 (age 26) 72 18 Japan NTV Beleza
20 Yuri Kawamura (川村 優理) (1989-05-17) 17 May 1989 (age 25) 5 0 Japan Vegalta Sendai Ladies
14 Nanase Kiryu (木龍 七瀬) (1989-10-31) 31 October 1989 (age 24) 8 0 United States Sky Blue FC
12 Emi Nakajima (中島 依美) (1990-09-27) 27 September 1990 (age 23) 11 1 Japan INAC Kobe Leonessa
24 Ami Sugita (杉田 亜未) (1992-03-14) 14 March 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Japan Iga F.C. Kunoichi
16 Hikaru Naomoto (猶本 光) (1994-03-03) 3 March 1994 (age 20) 1 0 Japan Urawa Reds Ladies
Forwards
7 Karina Maruyama (丸山 桂里奈) (1983-03-26) 26 March 1983 (age 31) 78 14 Japan Speranza F.C. Osaka-Takatsuki
17 Yūki Ōgimi (大儀見 優季) (1987-07-15) 15 July 1987 (age 27) 107 48 England Chelsea L.F.C.
25 Michi Goto (後藤 三知) (1990-07-27) 27 July 1990 (age 24) 4 2

Japan Urawa Reds Ladies

15 Yuika Sugasawa (菅澤 優衣香) (1990-10-05) 5 October 1990 (age 23) 13 3 Japan JEF United Ichihara Chiba Ladies
13 Megumi Takase (高瀬 愛実) (1990-11-10) 10 November 1990 (age 23) 40 6

Japan INAC Kobe Leonessa

11 Chinatsu Kira (吉良 知夏) (1991-07-05) 5 July 1991 (age 23) 1 0 Japan Urawa Reds Ladies

Players[edit]

As of 12 March 2014

FIFA Rankings[edit]

Honors[edit]

International[edit]

Champions (1): 2011
Runners-up (1): 2012
4th place (1): 2008

Continental[edit]

Champions (1): 2014
Runners-Up (4): 1986, 1991, 1995, 2001
Gold Medal (1): 2010

Regional[edit]

Champions (2): 2008, 2010

Overall official record[edit]

Competition Stage Result Opponent Position Notes
Hong Kong 1981 Asian Championship Round 1 0–1 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
0–2 Thailand Thailand
1–0 Indonesia Indonesia 3 / 4
Hong Kong 1986 Asian Championship Round 1 0–2 China China
10–0 Malaysia Malaysia 2 / 3
Semifinals 4–0 Thailand Thailand
Final 0–2 China China
Hong Kong 1989 Asian Championship Round 1 3–0 Hong Kong Hong Kong
11–0 Indonesia Indonesia
14–0 Nepal Nepal 1 / 4
Semifinals 0–1 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
Third place 9–0 Hong Kong Hong Kong
China 1990 Asian Games Main Round 0–5 China China
5–0 Hong Kong Hong Kong
8–1 South Korea South Korea
1–1 North Korea North Korea
3–1 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 2 / 6
Hong Kong 1991 Asian Championship Round 1 1–0 North Korea North Korea
4–1 Hong Kong Hong Kong
12–0 Malaysia Malaysia
12–0 Singapore Singapore 1 / 5
Semifinals 0–0 (PSO: 5–4) Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
Final 0–5 China China
China 1991 World Cup Round 1 0–1 Brazil Brazil
0–8 Sweden Sweden
0–3 United States United States
Malaysia 1993 Asian Championship Round 1 6–1 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
15–0 Philippines Philippines
4–0 Hong Kong Hong Kong 1 / 4
Semifinals 1–3 China China
Final 3–0 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
China 1994 Asian Games Round 1 1–1 China China
3–0 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
5–0 South Korea South Korea 2 / 4
Final 0–2 China China
Sweden 1995 World Cup Round 1 0–1 Germany Germany
2–1 Brazil Brazil
0–2 Sweden Sweden 3 / 4
Quarterfinals 0–4 United States United States
Malaysia 1995 Asian Championship Round 1 1–0 South Korea South Korea
6–0 India India
17–0 Uzbekistan Uzbekistan 1 / 4
Semifinals 3–0 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
Final 0–2 China China
United States 1996 Summer Olympics Round 1 2–3 Germany Germany
0–2 Brazil Brazil
0–4 Norway Norway 4 / 4
China 1997 Asian Championship Round 1 21–0 Guam Guam
1–0 India India
9–0 Hong Kong Uzbekistan 1 / 4
Semifinals 0–1 North Korea North Korea
Third place 2–0 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
China 1998 Asian Games Round 1 6–0 Thailand Thailand
2–3 North Korea North Korea
8–0 Vietnam Vietnam 2 / 4
Semifinals 0–3 China China
Third place 2–1 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
United States 1999 World Cup Round 1 1–1 Canada Canada
0–5 Russia Russia
0–4 Norway Norway 4 / 4
Philippines 1999 Asian Championship Round 1 9–0 Thailand Thailand
5–1 Uzbekistan Uzbekistan
14–0 Nepal Nepal
6–0 Philippines Philippines 1 / 5
Semifinals 0–2 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
Third place 2–3 North Korea North Korea
Chinese Taipei 2001 Asian Championship Round 1 14–0 Singapore Singapore
11–0 Guam Guam
0–1 North Korea North Korea
3–1 Vietnam Vietnam 2 / 5
Semifinals 2–1 South Korea South Korea
Final 0–2 North Korea North Korea
Chinese Taipei 2002 Asian Games Main round 0–1 North Korea North Korea
3–0 Vietnam Vietnam
1–0 South Korea South Korea
2–2 China China
2–0 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 3 / 6
Thailand 2003 Asian Championship Round 1 15–0 Philippines Philippines
7–0 Guam Guam
7–0 Burma Myanmar
5–0 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei 1 / 5
Semifinals 0–3 North Korea North Korea
Third place 0–1 South Korea South Korea
United States 2003 World Cup Round 1 6–0 Argentina Argentina
0–3 Germany Germany
1–3 Canada Canada 3 / 4
Greece 2004 Summer Olympics Round 1 1–0 Sweden Sweden
0–1 Nigeria Nigeria 3 / 3
Quarterfinals 1–2 United States United States Awarded the Fair Play Award
South Korea 2005 East Asian Championship Main Round 0–1 North Korea North Korea
0–0 China China
0–0 South Korea South Korea 3 / 4 Awarded the Fair Play Award
Qatar 2006 Asian Games Round 1 13–0 Jordan Jordan
4–0 Thailand Thailand
1–0 China China 1 / 4
Semifinals 3–1 South Korea South Korea
Final 0–0 (PSO: 2–4) North Korea South Korea
Australia 2006 Asian Championship Round 1 5–0 Vietnam Vietnam
11–1 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
1–0 China China 1 / 4
Semifinals 0–2 Australia Australia
Third place 2–3 North Korea North Korea
China 2007 World Cup Round 1 2–2 England England
1–0 Argentina Argentina
0–2 Germany Germany 3 / 4
China 2008 East Asian Championship Main Round 3–2 North Korea North Korea
2–0 South Korea South Korea
3–0 China China 1 / 4
Vietnam 2008 Asian Cup Round 1 1–3 South Korea South Korea
11–0 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
3–1 Australia Australia 1 / 4
Semifinals 1–3 China China
Third place 3–0 Australia Australia
2008 Summer Olympics qualification Final round 2–0 Vietnam Vietnam
4–0 Thailand Thailand
6–1 South Korea South Korea 1 / 4
China 2008 Summer Olympics Round 1 2–2 New Zealand New Zealand
0–1 United States United States
5–1 Norway Norway 3 / 4
Quarterfinals 2–0 China China
Semifinals 2–4 United States United States
Third place 0–2 Germany Germany
Japan 2010 East Asian Championship Round 1 2–0 China New Zealand
3–0 Chinese Taipei Chinese Taipei
2–1 South Korea South Korea 1 / 4
China 2010 Asian Cup Round 1 8–0 Burma Myanmar
4–0 Thailand Thailand
2–1 North Korea North Korea 1 / 4
Semifinals 0–1 Australia Australia
Third place 2–0 China China
China 2010 Asian Games Round 1 4–0 Thailand Thailand
0–0 North Korea North Korea 1 / 3
Semifinals 1–0 China China
Final 1–0 North Korea North Korea
Germany 2011 World Cup Round 1 2–1 New Zealand New Zealand
4–0 Mexico Mexico
0–2 England England 2 / 4
Quarterfinals 1–0 Germany Germany
Semifinals 3–1 Sweden Sweden
Final 2–2 (PSO: 3–1) United States United States Awarded the Fair Play Award
2012 Summer Olympics qualification Final round 3–0 Thailand Thailand
2–1 South Korea South Korea
1–0 Australia Australia
1–1 North Korea North Korea
1–0 China China
United Kingdom 2012 Summer Olympics Round 1 2–1 Canada Canada
0–0 Sweden Sweden
0–0 South Africa South Africa 2 / 4
Quarterfinals 2–0 Brazil Brazil
Semifinals 2–1 France France
Finals 1–2 United States United States
South Korea 2013 EAFF Women's East Asian Cup Final round 2–0 China China
0–0 North Korea North Korea
1–2 South Korea South Korea
Vietnam 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup Round 1 2–2 Australia Australia
4–0 Vietnam Vietnam
7–0 Jordan Jordan 1 / 4
Semifinals 2–1 China China PR
Final 1–0 Australia Australia

Youth national teams[edit]

Under-20 team[edit]

Under-17 team[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
2007 Germany 
World Champions
2011 (first title)
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Preceded by
2010 Australia 
Asian Champions
2014 (first title)
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Hakuhō Shō
Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize
2011
Succeeded by
Shinnosuke Abe