Japan’s Aya Miyama knows what it means to win a FIFA Women’s World Cup™ Final, and she also knows how it feels to lose one. After savouring the sweet taste of success against USA in 2011, she cried tears of frustration against the very same opponents four years later.
With a few months having now passed since the second of those two vibrant games, FIFA.com sat down with Miyama to show her five key moments from that Canadian adventure.
It was one that began in bittersweet fashion for the midfielder, with a penalty that she took after team-mate Kozue Ando had suffered a serious injury. “I was very worried because I realised straight away that it was really bad,” said the Japan captain. “I had to put those thoughts to one side, though, and make sure that I scored.”
That sense of responsibility is one she inherited from her friend Homare Sawa, a player for whom she has nothing but praise. “It was such a pleasure for me to play alongside her,” she said of the legendary Japan international, who has now retired.
As well as her new status as the team’s leader, Miyama also took on a new role on the pitch at Canada 2015, becoming a provider as well as a goalscorer and making a significant contribution to her side’s creative prowess. “I get more enjoyment out of setting up goals than scoring them,” she explained after reviewing the parts she had to play in the Nadeshiko’s two goals against the Netherlands.
Another inevitable topic of conversation was the Final against the United States, in which Japan found themselves 4-0 down after only 16 minutes. “I wish we could play it again,” she sighed.
At half-time in that fateful game at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver, Miyama tried to lift her dispirited team-mates with some well-chosen words of encouragement. Curious to know what she had to say to them? Then all you have to do is watch the complete interview in the video on this page, in which Miyama reveals her thoughts and views on last year’s world finals in Canada.