Japan serves up surprise knockout

The Japanese women's futsal team had a great victory against Spain, eliminating one of the favourites for the gold. The Asian team will face Portugal in the final at Tecnopolis Park next Wednesday.

Picture by IOC

The women’s futsal semifinals included a big surprise as Japan beat Spain 3-2, while Portugal confirmed its favourite status by beating Bolivia 16-2.

The second semifinal was a very tight match, but Japan managed to beat Spain by 3-2, in a shocking twist to the tournament considering that the European team was one of the favourites to win the gold at Buenos Aires 2018. "We played a great match against a great rival. I think that we did very good team work," said Japan’s Mai Miyamoto.

In the earlier semifinal, the Portuguese team crushed the Bolivian squad, with defender Ana Sofia Goncalves scoring an impressive six goals.

"All that matters, as always, is the victory, it doesn’t matter who scores goals and who doesn’t,” Goncalves said. “Individualism does not work. From time to time it’s good, of course, but in general what’s important is the team."

She added that the team is well prepared, confident and focused on the final, which will be played on Wednesday, October 17.


Japan's Miyamoto also spoke about the upcoming match for gold against Portugal: "Without a doubt it will be a difficult match, but we will try so that, this time, the victory goes to us."

Japan and Portugal already played each other in the preliminary round of Group D. In that game, the European team won by 2-0.