Japan women hand Bangladesh a tough lesson
The difference in women's football between Bangladesh and Japan –one of the best in Asia as well as the world – has seemingly not reduced over the last few years as the women in red and green were handed an 8-0 thrashing by the former World champions in their debut match of the Asian Games at Wenzhou Olympic Sports Centre today.
Bangladesh's under-16 women's team had suffered a 9-0 defeat against their Japanese counterparts during the 2019 AFC Women's Championship in Thailand. That team had featured the likes of Monica Chakma, Maria Manda, Rupna Chakma, Shamsunnahar and Tahura Khatun. All those players were part of the Bangladesh senior team as they played against the Japanese senior team for the first time yesterday.
Japan dominated throughout the game with four goals coming in either half. China Remina, Tanikawa Momoko and substitute Sakakibara Kotona struck two goals each while Shikoshi Yuzuho and substitute Hijikata Maya netted one goal apiece for the 2011 world champions.
"We have clearly understood the difference between two sides and as saw how easily mistakes could be made and punished. Actually the third-player running of Japan in the attacking half destroyed us. Even though our players watched the ball carefully, they could not mark the third-player running properly," Bangladesh coach Saiful Bari Titu said after the match.
"The girls played such a match for the first time and it was their biggest challenge though a lot of World Cup players from Japan did not play in this match," Titu said. "However, sometime the girls tried to resist and exchanged the ball among them but that was not good enough against a team like Japan."
"Japanese players were very quick and physically fit whereas our girls have the mental toughness to do well but they are behind physically, technically and tactically," the veteran coach opined.
Asked whether it was reality check for Bangladesh after becoming SAFF Championship last year, Titu said, "Bangladesh beat India once and drew once and beat Nepal once in the SAFF Championships. So it was a reality check for India and Nepal. Our reality check is the difference between a small team and a top-level team."