JAPAN LOSE SHE BELIEVES CUP

England have won the She Believes Cup for the first time as they defeated 2015 World Cup finalist Japan in the final game. The Lionesses came out blazing in a game that saw Japan crumble to three goals within the first 45 minutes.

Lucy Staniforth began the scoring with a neat finish from outside the box, while Karen Carney increased the lead with a nice header. The game was over just before halftime as Beth Mead Fired in from close range just before half-time.

PODOLSKI HOPES TO PLAY FOR COLOGNE AGAIN

Vissel Kobe FC striker Lukas Podolski has revealed he would love to turn out for hometown club Cologne again before he finally calls time on his illustrious career.

Podolski made a bold decision last summer, leaving Turkish giants Galatasary for Japan to play for Vissel Kobe FC – a move in which many saw as the player bidding farewell to playing football at the highest level. Maybe he felt it was time to rake in the cash.

NADESHIKO JAPAN EMERGE VICTORIOUS AGAINST NORWAY

The Japanese women national team, Nadeshiko came out on top in a friendly game against Norway on Sunday in preparation for the 2019 FIFA women’s world cup. Forward ManaIwabuchi was the cream of the crop for Japan.

Japan started on the front foot, when forward Kumi Yokoyama gave them an early lead in the 16th minute, courtesy of a well-placed shot, sending the Japanese fans into ecstasy at the Tottori Bird Stadium. The manager and the fans were visibly excited to see their team take the lead so early in the game.

Rafael Benitez heaps praise on debutants versus Tottenham Hotspur

Newcastle United manager Rafael Benitez has heaped praise on debutants Yoshinori Muto and Salomon Rondon, who came as late substitutes during the 2-1 Premier League defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Japan international Muto joined the Magpies on a permanent deal from Mainz earlier in the summer whilst Rondon arrived on a season-long loan from West Bromwich Albion in exchange for Dwight Gayle.

Speaking after the Spurs’ defeat, Benitez was particularly appreciative of the efforts of Muto and Rondon, who managed to make an impact following their introduction onto the playing field, he said: “They did well [Muto and Rondon]. They were trying hard, now it is just about improving the understanding with the rest of their team-mates. So they know what we want to do and how the other team-mates will react. Once they get that, they will be better, but with Muto, Rondon, Joselu and Ayoze (Perez), we have four different kinds of strikers, and that can be good.”

Nishino Unhappy with Own Defensive Tactics against Poland

Japanese national team coach Akira Nishino claimed that he made a couple of mistakes – especially with regards to tactics – in the recent loss against Poland. Japan were expected to be a strong contender to reach the last 16 of the World Cup 2018, as the team were placed in a relatively comfortable group that included the likes of Poland and Senegal. However, a tough set of matches to start the competition led to Japan coming into the game against Poland in a difficult circumstance. Rather than try and go out for a victory, Japan were surprisingly defensive in the 1-0 loss against Poland.

After the game,Nishino admitted that he was playing on Colombia to beat Senegal rather than go for a victory against Poland and suffer more disadvantage in terms of goal difference. Incredibly, this controversial approach surprisingly worked out well for Japan, who were able to end up level with Senegal on a number of parameters. However, Japan were able to progress into the last 16 as a result of picking up two fewer cards. It remains to be seen ifNishino’s open admission will be at a disadvantage to the team when they take on Belgium, who are clear favourites for the World Cup title, in the round of last 16.

Akira Nishino Eyeing Knockouts With Japan

Japan’s new head coach Akira Nishino is optimistic of the nation reaching the knock stage of this summer’s World Cup. Following disappointing friendly results against Mali and Ukraine in March, the JFA made the surprise decision to sack Vahid Halilhodzic, despite there being just over two months before the World Cup starts in Russia.

Speaking on FIFA.com, Nishino is hoping to put the best team together for the global tournament, and he has set the aim of progressing beyond the group stage, he said: “I will give my all to put together a team for Russia. I feel a strong responsibility. I have been away from the dugout for two years, and now I have to get my mind and body together as a manager. I don’t think we have fallen apart as a team at all. I don’t think we’ve been getting the results we should have and we haven’t reached our full potential yet. I want to get results. It’s the World Cup, so I want us to show that we are good enough to get to the knockout phase.”

Halilhodzic Ready To The Youngsters Chance At The World Cup 2018

Japan national team manager Vahid Halilhodzic has revealed that he is ready to give young players an opportunity in the squad ahead of the World Cup 2018. A number of established players like Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa will be crucial to Japan’s hopes of doing well in the World Cup 2018, which will be held in Russia. However, the Bosnian coach claims that he is very aware that the national team needs some young blood in order to take them through to the next decade.


Even though the likes of Kagawa and Honda have been extremely good, they may not be around by the next World Cup. There is plenty of pressure on Halilhodzic, as Japan has simply not been able to produce results in recent matches. After failing at the East Asian football championship in the final round, Japan has been unable to win the friendly games against Mali and Ukraine.

JAPAN LOSE TO UKRAINE

The Japanese national team has lost 2-1 to Ukraine in their most recent friendly game, played on March 27. The Asian side knows they have a long way to go if they want to impress in Russia this summer but this was made more obvious by the Ukrainians, who dominated and had a fairly straight-forward victory.

Despite missing out in the qualification race for the World Cup 2018, Ukraine were good in their showdown against the Japanese. The Japanese played African side Mali on Friday and they got a last gasp draw to ensure it ended in a stalemate. They warmed up for the Mali and Ukraine game using the Standard Liege’s Stadium.

Claude Puel open to fresh contract for Shinji Okazaki

Leicester City manager Claude Puel has opened the possibility of extending the stay of Japan international Shinji Okazaki. However, the Foxes boss has insisted that it is not a priority right now, and wants the 31-year-old to continue performing for the east Midlands outfit.

Okazaki was one of the many standout players for Leicester during the 2015/16 season, where they went against the odds to claim their maiden Premier League title. Unlike, other players from title-winning squad, he has failed to earn an improved contract with the club, though Puel is open to keeping hold of his marksman.

New coach appointed for Japan Olympic football team

The powers-that-be in Japanese Olympic football have appointed Hajime Moriyasu as their new coach for the 2020 Games in Tokyo and they have promised the fans that the squad will give their all in their quest for what would be their first medal in the sport since 1968.

Moriyasu is a former midfielder for the national team who won three J League titles in charge of Sanfreece Hiroshima in 2012, 2013 and 2015 but left the job in the summer of this year with the side at the wrong end of the table and in big danger of relegation.