‘Nadeshiko’ prepare for qualifiers

Kyodo

The Japan Football Association on Monday named women’s World Cup champions Homare Sawa and Aya Miyama as part of a 20-member squad preparing for the final Asian qualifiers for next year’s London Olympics.

Japan captain Sawa was among 19 players chosen from the squad that defeated the United States 3-1 on penalties following a dramatic 2-2 draw in the World Cup final in Germany last month.

Japan coach Norio Sasaki indicated his team will not be resting on its laurels.

“Just because we have become the world champion does not mean that we will be looking down at our opponents,” Sasaki said. “Many of the players know how difficult it is to win an Olympic berth and we look at this as something completely different,” he said.