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FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2018

Japan

Japan team photo
© AFC

FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup record
Japan are among the most successful nations on the international scene at this age level, having progressed beyond the group phase in each of the past five FIFA U-17 Women's World Cups. Notably, they stormed to the final three times, and were crowned world champions at Costa Rica 2014.

The road to Uruguay
Japan eased through the AFC U-16 Championship group stage with an unblemished record, which included a 2-1 win over holders Korea DPR. However, they suffered an unexpected defeat against a resilient Korea Republic in the semi-final. Despite that setback, the Little Nadeshiko pulled off a 1-0 victory over China PR in the third-place play-off as they booked passage to Uruguay 2018.

The coach
Naoki Kusunose was the man responsible for guiding Japan through Asia's Uruguay 2018 qualifiers but in the build-up to the World Cup he was replaced by Futoshi Ikeda, who led Japan to glory at the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup. A former defender with Urawa Reds, Ikeda began his coaching career with the club's youth team before joining the national set-up last year and taking charge of Japan's U-20 women's team. The 48-year-old made an immediate impact too, leading his team to Asian and world titles inside his first year in charge.

The stat
3 - Japan sit alongside Korea DPR having been crowned Asian champions on three occasions.