Germany got their revenge over Japan’s Nadeshiko as they beat the women’s world champions 4-2 in a friendly match last Saturday. The World No 2 ranked team proved to be too strong for a resilient Japanese team, who earlier in the week drew with England 1-1. The game in the Allianz Arena in Munich was the last in their mini tour of Europe.
Japan was missing the services of Women’s World Player of the Year Homare Sawa and they were already behind after 17 minutes courtesy of a counter attack by the Germans that led to a goal by Leonie Maier. Shinobu Ono equalized in the 40th minute but at the start of the 2nd half, Germany was awarded a penalty because of a trip by Asuka Tanaka on Nadine Kessler in their own box. Okoyino da Mbabi coolly slotted the penalty in to make it Germany 2-1 Japan. Yuki Ogimi pulled another one back for the Nadeshiko at the hour mark. The game seemed to be headed for a draw, until da Mbabi and Simone Laudehr scored two late goals to give victory to the Germans in front of over 45,000 spectators.
Coach Norio Sasaki admits that on that day, they were only second best in terms of “ability, condition and technique.” He said the goal for the team, currently ranked 3rd in the world, now is to move one rank higher by the next world tournament. Ogimi said that each player, even the substitutes, has to improve individually if they want to have any chance of beating the big teams.
Japan famously upset Germany two years ago as they went on a surprising run to win the 2011 World Cup. That was their only victory against the Germans in 12 meetings, drawing one and winning that crucial game in 2011. The Nadeshiko will now start preparing to defend its East Asian Cup title which will start on July 20 in South Korea.