Japan's women's soccer team, Nadeshiko Japan, will play against North Korea tonight at 6:30 in the second match of the Asian final qualifying round for the Paris Olympics.

The condition for getting a ticket to Paris is "victory".

In addition to broadcasting the match on general television, NHK will also provide simultaneous and missed broadcasts on NHK Plus.

We will provide you with the latest information on the match.

table of contents

  • attention

    Ticket sales “Japan side exceeds North Korea side”

  • Is North Korea also showing great interest?

  • 《NHK broadcast schedule》

  • 《Highlights of Round 2 “Decisive Battle”》

  • 《How will the participating teams be decided?

  • [Game 1 review (February 24th)] North Korea 0-0 Japan

  • 《Will it be a reenactment of 20 years ago?》

Open table of contents

table of contents

table of contents

  • attention

    Ticket sales “Japan side exceeds North Korea side”

  • Is North Korea also showing great interest?

  • 《NHK broadcast schedule》

  • 《Highlights of Round 2 “Decisive Battle”》

  • 《How will the participating teams be decided?

  • [Game 1 review (February 24th)] North Korea 0-0 Japan

  • 《Will it be a reenactment of 20 years ago?》

==Breaking news==

  • attention

Ticket sales “Japan side exceeds North Korea side”

In the game on the night of the 28th in which "Nadeshiko Japan" will play against North Korea, the 3,000 tickets for the so-called cheering seats behind the goal were sold out as of 5 pm on the 27th for the North Korean side, while the Japanese side There were 2044 pieces.

The Japan Football Association took the unusual step of regularly updating the sales status on its website, calling for support for Nadeshiko Japan, and as of 9 a.m. on the 28th, Japan had sold 3,082 tickets, surpassing North Korea.

Also, as of noon, approximately 20,000 tickets had been sold throughout the stadium.

The Japan Football Association says that if tickets remain, they will continue to be sold until 7:30 p.m. during the match.

Is North Korea also showing great interest?

Regarding the first match, which was held in Saudi Arabia on February 24th and ended in a 0-0 draw, two days later in North Korea, on the 26th, the Workers' Party of Korea's official newspaper Rodong Sinmun and the state news agency reported the result as important news. In addition, national television broadcast highlights.

Prior to this, in the capital Pyongyang, on February 17th, in commemoration of the birthday of Kim Jong Il, the father of Kim Jong Un, the "Kim Il Sung Stadium" was opened. It was reported that Prime Minister Kim Dok-kun and others cheered along with a large number of citizens at the domestic women's soccer team's match.

Kim is said to have a strong passion for soccer, having watched games with his daughter in the past, and when the North Korean women's national team won the 2015 East Asian Cup, the players who returned to Japan I personally met him at the airport.

Furthermore, General Secretary Kim praised them as ``admirable daughters who brought gifts to the party,'' and a triumphal parade was held in Pyongyang.

North Korea's Olympic Committee has set out a policy to increase the number of medals won at international sports competitions, and hopes to boost its national prestige by defeating Japan in the match on the 28th and gaining the right to participate in the Paris Olympics. It seems like a thought.

《NHK broadcast schedule》

Match start date February 28th (Wednesday) 18:34

Tokyo National Stadium

[Broadcast schedule]

NHK General 18:25 ~

Simultaneous and missed broadcasts available on NHK Plus

《Highlights of Round 2 “Decisive Battle”》

The women's soccer final Asian qualifying round for the Paris Olympics will be contested on a home-and-away basis, and the first match on February 24 was originally scheduled to be held in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea.

However, the Asian Football Confederation proposed holding the match at a neutral site due to the lack of regular flights between North Korea and other countries, and three days before the match it was decided that the match would be held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The game was tied at 0.

The second match will be held at the National Stadium from 6:30 p.m. on the 28th, and if Japan wins, they will qualify for the Paris Olympics.

In the unprecedented circumstances of the final qualifying round, the players were placed in a difficult environment, having to travel long distances and deal with temperature changes in a short period of time. It was missing.

One of the key points for the second match, which will be held in three days, is for the players to recover their condition, and the key will be whether they can revive their original speedy attacks with the help of the home support.

It will be important for us to regain the synergy we showed against the strong European teams in last year's World Cup.

After the official practice, Risa Shimizu, an unwavering right back, singled out forward Minami Tanaka as a key player in the attack, and said that she would like to fight without being isolated by making moves that bring fellow forwards closer together. .

In addition, captain Saki Kumagai, who plays in a defensive midfield position, said that drawing out both sides of the opponent will be important in breaking down her defense.

《How will the participating teams be decided?

The number of Asian Olympic spots for women's soccer is "2".

In the final qualifying rounds,

▽Japan and North Korea

, ▽Australia and Uzbekistan will play against each other.

Two games will be played in a home and away format, and the team with the most total points will qualify for the Paris Olympics.

If there is a tie, the match will be decided in overtime or penalty kicks.

◇What kind of team is the North Korean national team?

(World ranking 9th)

North Korea is one of the most powerful teams in Asia, ranked 9th in the latest world rankings, one place below Japan's 8th place.

They have won the women's Asian Cup three times in the past.

[Game 1 review (February 24th)] North Korea 0-0 Japan

The Asian Football Confederation was initially reluctant to hold the tournament in North Korea, and it was only decided three days before the match that it would be held in Saudi Arabia, an unusual situation. There was no.

According to team officials, Japan had only three shots in the first game.

The match may have had to be fought in a harsh environment with daytime temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius, but the main reason for the struggle was the inability to adapt to changes in the opponent's fighting style. That's what happened.

Up until then, North Korea had often attacked aggressively from the front on the international stage, but they chose to increase the number of defenders to five and focus on defense, an unexpected turn of events that left Japan perplexed.

On the one hand, the players on the front line were drawn out by an opponent who was pulling back and defending, and on the other hand, there were many cases where players became isolated because they were wary of a counter-attack with a long pass after losing the ball, and the distance between them became longer.

In fact, there were many situations where we were at a numerical disadvantage, and when we were about to start, we were robbed of the ball and lost our rhythm.

[Click here for details] Nadeshiko Japan Paris Olympics final qualifying round 1 draw with North Korea

《Will it be a reenactment of 20 years ago?》

In fact, Japan faced North Korea in difficult circumstances 20 years ago in 2004.

The venue for the semi-finals of the Asian qualifiers, which would have allowed them to participate in the Athens Olympics this year if they won, was the National Stadium at the time.

At the time, Japan's women's soccer was losing popularity after failing to win a single game at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and missing out on the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The team was disbanded and its size was reduced.

Against this backdrop, the match against North Korea in the 2004 Asian Qualifiers was a battle that determined the future of women's soccer.

In this match, thanks to the efforts of Homare Sawa, who played with an injured right knee, Japan defeated North Korea 3-0, a team they had not beaten in 13 years, and qualified for the Athens Games.

This sparked interest in women's soccer, and the nickname "Nadeshiko Japan" was announced, leading to the team's victory at the 2011 World Cup in Germany and the subsequent "Nadeshiko boom."

Looking back on those days, Sawa said, ``Everyone was fighting under the pressure that if we couldn't go to the Olympics, women's soccer would lose even more attention.With our win, I think it was a match that changed the history of women's soccer.'' I'm talking.

The environment surrounding women's soccer in Japan today is similar to that time.

The excitement after winning the World Cup in 2011 was short-lived, and after failing to participate in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, her popularity began to decline.

The number of spectators for the WE League, which started in 2021, is also sluggish.

Minami Tanaka, one of the key players in the attack, commented on the Asian final qualifying round, ``I think this is a match that will raise the profile of women's soccer, so I hope we can put on a muddy game that gets the whole venue involved like we did at last year's World Cup. We want to win,'' and many players are enthusiastic about helping lead the way to the future of women's soccer.

Will they be able to pull off a victory in difficult circumstances and once again increase interest in women's soccer?

The match against North Korea is a battle that Nadeshiko Japan cannot afford to lose.