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“I had told her not to shoot”

18 year-old Kurea Okino scored a beautiful long-range for her club Mynavi Vegalta Sendai Ladies in the Nadeshiko League, only 3 minutes after she got on the pitch as a sub, on 28 April. Learn the story behind the goal.

Kurea Okino 28042018 JLEAGUE PHOTO 4

“I shot with all the power I had. Even I was surprised”. These are the words from Kurea Okino after she scored an incredible goal in the Plenus Nadeshiko League for her team Mynavi Vegalta Sendai Ladies against AC Nagano Parceiro Ladies on 28 April.

In a game which did not want to choose its side, the 18 year old striker came on as a sub in the 81st minute. It took her three minutes to take her first shot on target. Not only of the game, but even of her career in Japan’s top flight. And it was not exactly just ‘a’ shot from the 1,65m player, but rather a thunderous drive from 35 meters finishing its run in the opposite top corner.

However, her coach Kazuo Echigo had warned her beforehand : “I had told her not to shoot from that distance. I was about to shout ‘don’t shoot!’, but she hit the ball before I could say anything, and it became a super goal”. What’s the lesson? Sometimes it is better to not listen to your coach, but instead to listen to your dad. And that’s what the native of Hokkaido did.

With no shots on target so far in her Nadeshiko League appearances, her father sent her message before the game, pushing her to “shoot as soon as you see the goal”. Well, she did, admitting that “this message gave me the power”. Quite logically, the former player of Tokiwagi High School went to wave at her parent who was watching in the stands, right after her piece of art.

Kurea Okino 28042018 JLEAGUE PHOTO 1

And a little detail which is quite stunning in this story: she shot the ball with the left foot when she is in fact right footed… Indeed, Okino is a multi-talented player and even more than that : she also used to be part of the Japan’s futsal national team! Is there something she’s not good at ?

The cherry on the cake is this goal proved to be crucial, as it was the only one of the game, allowing the Miyagi club to win their first game this season and climb up to 6th place in the league. With this goal, the U-16 international player has surely shown the whole Plenus Nadeshiko League that talent does not wait for the age !

photos: ©J.LEAGUE