Young Nadeshiko down England to reach U20 Women’s World Cup final

by Kyodo

Goals by Riko Ueki and Jun Endo on Monday propelled Japan to its first-ever FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup final with a 2-0 win over England.

Nineteen-year-old Ueki opened the scoring in the 22nd minute, receiving Endo’s pass just outside the penalty area and deftly turning to slot inside the post with her right foot. It was her fifth goal of the tournament, good for second overall in the race for the golden boot.

“I was turned away from the goal when I received the ball, but I was in a good position and I was able to set up the goal,” Ueki said after the match.

Endo, a member of JFA Academy Fukushima, scored a goal of her own just five minutes later to give Japan an insurmountable lead against the Young Lionesses, which had made its first semifinals appearance.

Japan will attempt to win the tournament for the first time in six appearances on Friday evening when it faces Spain, which defeated France 1-0 in the other semifinal match on Monday.