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FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011: Japan’s Probable Eleven For The Final Against USA

Japan and USA are due to meet in the 2011 FIFA World Cup final on Sunday 17 July. The two teams played their semi-finals against Sweden and France respectively, with the same score of 3-1. In this article, I will analyze which are the best eleven players that Japan should use in the final against the United States.

The following 21 players make up Japan’s World Cup squad: Nozomi Yamago, Yukari Kinga, Azusa Iwashimizu, Saki Kumagai, Kyoko Yano, Mizuho Sakaguchi, Kozue Ando, ​​Aya Miyama, Nahomi Kawasumi, Homare Sawa, Shinobu Ohno, Miho Fukumoto, Rumi Utsugi, Megumi Kamionobe, Aya Sameshima, Asuna Tanaka, Yuki Nagasato, Karina Maruyama, Megumi Takase, Mana Iwabuchi, Ayumi Kaihori.

The team has three goalkeepers in Yamago, Fukumato and Kaihori, seven defenders in Kinga, Iwashimizu, Kumagai, Yano, Kamionobe, Sameshima and Tanaka, five midfielders in Sakaguchi, Miyama, Kawasumi, Sawa and Utsugi, and six forwards in Ando , Ohno. , Nagasato, Maruyama, Takase and Iwabuchi.

The oldest, but not the most capped, player in the team is goalkeeper Yamago, 36, who has yet to play a game in this World Cup. The only other player over 30 is skipper Sawa, who at 32 is also the team’s most experienced player, with 170 caps. The most impressive and actually truly amazing stat is that Sawa has scored 78 goals in those 170 appearances. Alongside Sawa, the Japanese side’s most experienced international is striker Nagasato, who at the relatively young age of 24 has already made 67 appearances for her country.

It’s actually a young team, with all the other players under the age of 30. Most of the players play club football for Japanese clubs, mainly INAC Kobe Leonessa. Only four play for clubs outside Japan. Ando and Nagasato play for German clubs FCR 2001 Duisburg and 1. FFC Turbine Potsdam, while Sameshima plays for American side Boston Breakers, and Utsugi represents Montpellier HSC of France.

From the game against New Zealand to the quarter-finals against Germany, Japan played with the same eleven players, as follows: Kaihori, Kinga, Iwashimizu, Kumagai, Sameshima, Sakguchi, Miyama, Sawa, Ando, Ohno and Nagasato. In other words, the Japanese coach left with one goalkeeper, four defenders, three midfielders and three forwards.

But against Sweden, in a change of tactics, coach Nori Sasaki dropped his most experienced striker Nagasato and his place was taken by Kawasumi. The move paid off as midfielder Kawasumi, used as a striker on the night, scored a string of goals that contributed to Japan’s brilliant victory over Sweden, earning them a place in the final.

There is a saying in English that goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Based on this principle, in the final, I would prefer to face the same Japanese team that did so well against Sweden. Which means, no Nagasato in the final. With all due respect to Nagasato who has been outstanding for Japan, in the past, with 32 goals, in 67 matches, I would prefer the in-form woman, Kawasumi, with Nagasato on the bench ready for action every times Coach Sasaki wants her.

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