Japan women’s football has become the strongest in Asia through years of hard work. They won the AFC Women's Asian Cup in 2010 and even defeated the United States at the World Cup in 2011. This year they are on a new challenge of going into the Olympics as one of the favourites. Most of the players on the World Cup squad will come to London for the Olympics. However, there are concerns over the injuries sustained by strikers Karina Maruyama and Mana Iwabuchi and the aging captain Homare Sawa.
Homare Sawa was the top scorer at the World Cup last year, scoring five goals. She also holds the record for being the Japanese team’s most capped and leading scorer. However, the 33-year-old player may find it hard to breakthrough when the opponents keep an eye on her. Also, striker Shinobu Ohno and midfielder Aya Miyama are also getting older. Norio Sasaki has been coaching since 2008 and may need new tactics to strength the team’s attacking line.