Meiji University alumnus Norio Sasaki leads Nadeshiko Japan to second place in the 2015 Women’s World Cup

Sep. 04, 2015

Nadeshiko Japan, Japan’s women’s national football team, is coached by Mr. Norio Sasaki, a Meiji University alumnus (he graduated from the School of Arts and Literature in 1981) and former member of Meiji University Athletic Association's Soccer Club. The squad came in second place in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015, which was held in Canada. Although they failed to become the second team ever to win the tournament for two consecutive times, Nadeshiko Japan accomplished the feat of making it to the final match in three consecutive big international tournaments, as they were victorious in the World Cup 2011 held in Germany and took the silver medal in the 2012 London Summer Olympics.
Upon returning from Canada on July 7, Mr. Sasaki met with reporters together with Nadeshiko Captain Aya Miyama and other members in the city of Narita, Chiba Prefecture. Looking back on the spectacle, he commented: “Although it was not easy to win matches because the teams of all countries have improved, the team battled tenaciously and managed to proceed to the final. I am proud of these wonderful athletes.”
As in the last installment and the London Olympics, the final match pitted Japan against its perennial rival, the United States. Although they lost by a score of 2 to 5, they showed their mettle in scoring two goals after being down 0 to 4, including one by star player Yuki Ogimi.
Mr. Sasaki added: “The final whistle signaled the start of the next challenge for Nadeshiko Japan. To take the next world-class tournament, we will need something extra. We must go over everything in detail and build up the necessary skills.” He pledged to raise the caliber of the team even higher, toward the goal of returning to the top at the Summer Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro next year.

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