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Thursday, 6th September 2012
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Hopes of final dashed for under-20s Nadeshiko

Japan's hopes were dashed after the football team failed to secure a place in the finals of the under-20s Fifa Women's World Cup.

Young Nadeshiko took on Germany in the semi-final battle, which took place on home turf.

It was a disappointing result for the Japanese side, who saw three balls powered into the back of the net after just 20 minutes of gameplay.

Germany's Melanie Leupolz was a force to be reckoned with, having scored the first goal in the opening minute.

She was helped by Dzsenifer Marozsan, who got her game on by receiving the ball in midfield and firing past two opponents before making an impressive pass to her teammate.

A crowd of more than 28,000 looked on as the side was unable to serve up the same skills as their older counterparts - with the mature Nadeshiko side taking the Fifa Women's World Cup in 2011.

This is the first time Hiroshi Yoshida's side has seen the younger team progress so far in the competition after knocking out South Korea 3-1 at the National Stadium last week, the Daily Yomiuri reported.

Despite being pleased with the women's performance in the quarterfinals, he remained subdued amid the 3-0 defeat against Germany.

The Japan Times quoted him as saying: "The first goal really shook our confidence and no one was able to even touch the ball.

"The players were feeling down but at halftime we said we just had to start again. We had to be confident, but even though we had our moments we weren't able to take chances."

In a bid to reenergise his team, Yoshida replaced midfielder Mina Tanaka with Kumi Yokoyama in the 25th minute, although it was not enough to even the score.

Japan are set to play Nigeria for third place on Saturday (September 8th), while Germany battle it out against the US for the title.

Posted by Mark Smith

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