Japan claimed their maiden FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup crown defeating Spain 2-0 in the final, and few could deny that the Little Nadeshiko were deserving victors.
Japan won all seven matches at Costa Rica 2014 displaying classic Nadeshiko élan and poise throughout. They also dominated goalscoring opportunities in the final but after Meika Nishida’s fifth minute goal, it took until 12 minutes from full time before the contest was effectively ended thanks to Fuka Kono’s strike.
With Venezuela and Italy both breaking new ground by reaching the last four, a new high was assured regardless of the outcome of the match for third place. which ended 0-2 in favour of the Italians via penalty kicks after 4-4at full time.
And it was an enthralling up-tempo contest that ensued with Venezuela equalising four times, the last of which came with virtually the last kick of the game.
La Vinotinto’s scoring boots were, however, not laced up in the shoot-out with two shots hitting the frame of the goal and two saved by Italy goalkeeper Francesca Durante.