Spain coach Marias Is
We put in a really good performance against the world champions, but when you don’t take your chances against such high-quality opponents, you run the risk of the match ending up like it did. We didn’t get much luck, and the Japanese goalkeeper was in very good form. But it’s been a positive experience overall; up to now, we’ve had a really good tournament. We’re among the four best teams in the world. We’ve got one more match to play, and that’s likely to be a real do-or-die affair. We need to win that game so that the girls get some reward for all the great effort they’ve put in.
Japan coach Naoki Kusunose
I’m happy that we managed to score in the first half; that was important against such a strong team. At half-time, I asked for more movement and for them to get the ball moving in midfield a bit more. I wanted them to score more goals. The most important thing was to field the players who were in the best physical condition, and that’s why I made five changes to the starting line-up. Of course, it wasn’t a perfect performance, and there were a few minor mistakes that we’ll need to improve on before our next match. But we’ll need to keep building on our strengths. Everything the girls do, they do because they absolutely love football, and they enjoy it so much. There are going to be two Asian teams in the final, but the overall standard has been high. I don’t think there’s much difference between teams that qualify for the U-17 World Cup. Minor details made the difference in the end.