• Kyodo

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The Japan Football Association is poised to name Under-20 women’s coach Asako Takakura as the new head coach of the national women’s team, Nadeshiko Japan, JFA sources said Tuesday.

The JFA will hold a news conference on Wednesday, when it is likely that the 48-year-old Takakura will be named to take over following the departure of World Cup-winning head coach Norio Sasaki.

If Takakura assumes the reins, she will become the first Nadeshiko Japan manager to have been a full international. In her playing days, she scored 30 goals in 79 games for Nadeshiko Japan.

As a coach, Takakura led Japan to its first championship in the Under-17 Women’s World Cup in 2014.

Sasaki managed Nadeshiko Japan to the championship of the 2011 Women’s World Cup and finished second to the United States at both the 2012 London Olympics and last year’s Women’s World Cup in Canada. He stepped down in March, after Japan failed to qualify for this summer’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

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