Japan and Korea DPR have claimed two of three Asian berths for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan with a match to spare.
Japan won the tournament in Nanjing, China PR, with a perfect four wins from as many starts. Passage was secured with an emphatic 3-0 win against Korea Republic with first-half goals from Yui Narumiya, Mizuki Nakamura and Rika Masuya.
Japan are three points clear of Korea DPR and their better head-to-head record means they claimed the continental crown ahead of their final outing against Australia.
The success continues a fantastic year for women's football in Japan, whose teams have also won the FIFA Women's World Cup™, qualified for the 2012 Olympic Football Tournament in London as well as reaching the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Korea DPR secured a top-three finish being three points clear of hosts China and Korea Republic with the latter pair to meet in the final round. A Kim Phyong-Hwa strike at the start of the second-half being the difference in a crucial match-up with China.
The final place for Azerbaijan 2012 will be decided on Sunday when China PR face Korea Republic with the hosts requiring only a point to progress.