November 30, 2019 / 11:31 AM / 5 days ago

Soccer-Tanaka treble helps Japan's NTV win first Asian Women's Club title

Nov 30 (Reuters) - Japanese side Nippon TV Beleza thrashed Australia’s Melbourne Victory 5-0 to win the inaugural Asian Women’s Club Championship in the South Korea city of Yongin on Saturday.

Masato Nagata’s side finished top of the four-team standings, two points ahead of China’s Jiangsu Suning.

The event involves domestic champions from China, Japan and South Korea plus Australia’s W-League regular season winners.

The win was NTV’s second in three games and saw them finish the round-robin tournament on seven points, with the title effectively sealed thanks to a hat-trick from Mina Tanaka.

Sara Ito and Kokona Iwasaki were also on the scoresheet.

“We have our way of playing, and throughout the tournament we got used to the other teams’ power and speed,” said Nagata.

“To keep the ball, to score and to learn were the tasks in this competition and we have achieved good results.”

Jiangsu finished in second place after picking up their first win when they beat hosts Incheon Red Angels 2-0 in the final game of the tournament.

The week-long event was launched this year as a pilot scheme to enhance the women’s club game on the continent by the Asian Football Confederation and world soccer’s governring body FIFA.

Asia has a history of success in women’s football, with Japan winning the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2011 and reaching the final again four years later.

Teams from the continent have also performed well at age group level in global competition, with records that far outstrip performances by Asian nations in men’s competitions. (Editing by Ken Ferris)

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