KALMAR, SWEDEN – Former women’s world champion Nadeshiko Japan remain winless in three games under new coach Asako Takakura after going down 3-0 away to Sweden in a friendly on Thursday.
Lotta Schelin put the Swedes in front in the 76th minute and further late goals from Fridolina Rolfo and Olivia Schough secured victory at Guldfageln Arena.
“We are trying new things but player for player we have to improve our technique and decision-making,” said Takakura.
“In general we are not clicking in attack or defense but there is no need for our heads to drop and we just need to look at the positives and negatives and move forward.”
In Thursday’s game, Sweden started brightly and Jonna Andersson provided Japan goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita with her first test with an angled drive on 15 minutes, before Rolfo tried her luck from distance on the half-hour mark.
Japan, missing the likes of regular captain Aya Miyama and Bayern Munich striker Mana Iwabuchi, showed some neat approach play but was rarely a serious threat in the final third of the pitch in the first 45 minutes.
Saki Kumagai drove straight at Sweden goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl before Rika Masuya fired wide of the post in the 32nd minute.
The Swedes finally took the lead when Schelin drilled home to complete a well-worked move involving fellow substitutes Schough and Kosovare Asllani.
Rolfo took Asllani’s pass to coolly slip home the second with four minutes left before Schough wrapped up the win in the third minute of stoppage time, with Rolfo this time the provider.
Asakura’s team will face Swedish club side Kristianstad DFF in a practice match on Sunday.