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Monday, 11th July 2011
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Japan women's football team continues astonishing march

The rise and rise of the women's football team of Japan has continued, after they knocked reigning champions and hosts Germany out of this year's FIFA Women's World Cup.

After slipping past the favourites with an extra time strike from substitute Karina Maruyama, Japan will go on to face Sweden in the semi-final.

Should the Nadeshiko make it past this challenge, they will go into a final against either the United States of America or France, who knocked out England on penalties.

Norio Sasaki, a coach with the Japanese women's national, dedicated the win to friends, family and countrymen affected by the recent tsunami and earthquake.

"Our playing is to be an encouragement for the victims of the disaster," he told the New York Times.

Japan are considered by bookmakers to be outsiders for the FIFA Women's World Cup, who are offering odds of 11/2 for the Nadeshiko to become the first Asian team to ever win the tournament.

Written by Kimberley Homer