The Little Nadeshiko opened their 2012 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup account in emphatic fashion, as they romped to a 5-0 victory over Brazil in Baku, Azerbaijan. In typical fashion Japan dominated possession and chances created, seeing nearly two-thirds of the ball while finding the target double the number of times as Brazil, and happily Japan married a finishing touch that has been lacking on occasion across their national teams to their ever-present technique.
Japan took the lead with just two minutes on the clock. Yui Hasegawa’s arcing shot rebounded off the crossbar, and with three of her teammates in close attendance and a Brazilian defence almost wholly absent Rika Masuya was left a simple finish from three yards. Fifteen minutes later Hiroshi Yoshida’s side extended their advantage, Hasegawa expertly guiding a pass into Masuya’s path, and she placed the ball beyond Nicole’s dive into the bottom left corner for her second of the match.
Two became three shortly after the restart, as Nicole palmed a delivery away from under her crossbar, the ball merely falling to a loitering Yui Narumiya to prod the ball home from close range. Substitute Hina Sugita scored the fourth, collecting a fine crossfield pass before turning inside Julia and firing past the Brazilian goalkeeper, and Narumiya rounded off an excellent opening performance for the Little Nadeshiko with a solo effort, swerving past two defenders and smashing a shot against the crossbar, then driving the rebound high into the net.
Japan next meet New Zealand on 26 September, and victory against the Young Football Ferns will all but guarantee their progress to the quarter-final stage.
Masuya 2′, 17′
Narumiya 49′, 67′
(Matches played 23 September 2012)