Japan captures first championship with six-game sweep
[UNDER-17 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] Japan became the third different Asian team in four tournaments to win the Under-17 Women's World Cup thanks to a 2-0 triumph over
Spain in Friday night's final at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica. The tournament was a victory for Asako Takemoto Takakura, the first woman to
coach a Japanese national team, and the local Ticos, who set a tournament attendance record.
Japan, which also beat Spain 2-0 in the opening match of the tournament, won on goals by Meika Nishida after five minutes and sub Fuka Kono 12 minutes from time. The Japanese won their six games by a margin of
Captain Hina Sugita won the adidas Golden Ball as the tournament's MVP, while teammate Yui Hasegawa
was second in the voting and Spaniard Pilar Garrote was third.
North Korea won in 2008 and South Korea won in 2010, while France is the only
non-Asian champion, having beaten North Korea in 2012.
Venezuela, the tournament surprise, played Italy to a 4-4 tie in the third-place game, then failed to convert a penalty kick in the
shootout and lost, 2-0. Vinotinto forwards Gabriela Garcia and Deyna Castellanos, 14, were the tournament's top scorers with six goals apiece.
The matches at Costa Rica
2014 averaged 8,403, surpassing the previous Under-17 Women's World Cup mark set at Azerbaijan 2012.
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