• Kyodo


Former women’s world champion Nadeshiko Japan will face Australia in its opening match in the final Asian qualifiers for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics, as the Japan Football Association announced its schedule on Friday for the tournament in Osaka.

Japan, the London Olympic silver medalist, kick off its campaign against the Westfield Matildas on Feb. 29, play South Korea on March 2, China on March 4, Vietnam on March 7 and North Korea on March 9.

All of Japan’s games will be 7:35 p.m. kickoffs at Kincho Stadium.

The top two teams from the six-team round-robin tournament earn tickets to Rio. Japan is aiming to qualify for its fourth straight Olympics and fifth overall.

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