Japan was crowned at the 2008 EAFF Women's Championship after downing host China 3-0 at the Yongchuan Sports Center in Chongqing, Southwest China on Sunday.
The visitors enjoyed a flying start with their forward Shinobu Ohno driving home a low pass from Yuki Nagasato, who capitalized a through ball on the right flank to beat China's defending force in the 18th minute.
The Nadeshiko extended their margin three minutes before the second half. Playmaker Homare Sawa's long range shot was blocked by the bar before Ohno used her chest to rebound the ball into the open gate.
With only one mis-targeted shot in the first half, China substituted a midfielder with a forward to strengthen attacking when the game resumed. But their hope to equalize the score was ruined 10 minutes into the second half. The in-form Ohno swung in a pinpoint cross to find Nagasato in the far post, whose powerful header put their throne-taking triumph beyond doubt.
After snatching the crucial victory, the Japanese side won the crown in the four-team tournament with an all-win record, while China which used to stand on the peak of Asian women's football only finished in the third place.
Forward Kim Yong Ae's two goals helped World Cup quarterfinalist DPR Korea trounce defending champions South Korea 4-0 in the game played earlier, leaving the young South Korea team staying at the bottom of the four teams.
(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2008)