2012 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup: Young Nadeshiko

(The Under-19 Japan women’s national football team romp to a 6-0 victory against Vietnam in the 2011 AFC Championship, which included a hat-trick from Kumi Yokoyama and a brace for Mai Kyōkawa. The latter will be absent as the Under-20 Women’s World Cup gets underway on Sunday, injury putting her hopes of participating beyond reach)

The Young Nadeshiko begin their campaign for World Cup success on 19 August against Mexico on the back of the silver medal the senior women’s side earned at the Olympic Games, and the prospects of success are strong as they seek to emulate the 2011 World Cup victory. The twenty-one player squad contains ten of those who featured in the 2010 Under-17 Women’s World Cup and lost in the final on penalties to South Korea, while as many as fifteen who took part in last year’s AFC Under-19 Women’s Championship triumph have been selected for a competition being played on home soil.

The Young Nadeshiko had been dealt a blow in their preparations with leading goalscorer and INAC Kobe Leonessa star Mai Kyōkawa absent through injury, while Mana Iwabuchi, still eligible for the Under-20 side, will not be participating owing to her recent commitments with the senior team, a decision made after she underwent surgery on a toe in January. However, manager Hiroshi Yoshida is still confident of success, proclaiming his players to be the most technically gifted in the world and believing they can play at an even higher level at this tournament.

Many of the games will be broadcast live around the world. For visitors to the site from Europe, Eurosport will be providing coverage, a schedule for which can be found here. In the United States, ESPNU will also be showing live matches, and for those in other territories, please click the link for details of broadcasters.

Japan’s Group A fixtures in full:

19 Aug 11:20 Japan vs Mexico Miyagi Stadium, Rifu
22 Aug 11:20 Japan vs New Zealand Miyagi Stadium, Rifu
26 Aug 11:20 Japan vs Switzerland National Olympic Stadium, Tokyo

(All times BST)

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