Japan have won the AFC U-19 Women’s Championship trophy after beating a spirited DPR Korea team 2-1 in the final at Chonburi, Thailand.
This win marks the sixth time that the Japanese have won this particular trophy, but it most certainly wasn’t an easy task for Futoshi Ikeda’s team.
The first half of the game saw DPR Korea making some serious inroads, with chances falling to the likes of Yun Ji-hwa and Kim Yun-ok, but Japan absorbed the pressure and pushed on themselves.
The opening goal came just two minutes into the second half, and it was Yuzuki Yamamoto who made herself a star for her nation, slotting home after some terrific build up play from Momo Nakao.
The goal brought out the best in the DPR Korean women, who pushed on and tried to find a leveller, but in doing so, left themselves open to the counter.
Taking advantage of this, Japan doubled their lead, with skipper Hana Takahashi heading home from a corner taken by Oto Kanno.
Despite the setback, DPR Korea looked for a goal of their own, and found it in the form of a penalty which was converted by Kim Yun-ok in the 82nd minute.
Japan held on in the end however, winning the tournament once again, and will now join DPR Korea and Korea Republic as the representatives of Asia at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Nigeria.
(Image courtesy: AFC)