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Sunday, Aug. 7, 2011

Nadeshiko League attendance on rise

Staff report

Saturday's Nadeshiko League game between Albirex Niigata Ladies and INAC Kobe Leonessa featured another record-setting crowd of 24,546 at Tohoku Denryoku Big Swan Stadium in Niigata.

After the Japan national team's Women's World Cup title last month in Germany, Nadeshiko Japan's popularity has been a boon for the sport, as evidenced by an attendance record being set for the third straight week. The previous record was 21,236 in a July 31 game between INAC and Okayama Yunogo Belle in Kobe.

World Cup Most Valuable Player and midfielder Homare Sawa scored a pair of goals to help INAC extend its unbeaten streak from the season opener to 8-0 by defeating Albirex 2-1.

Leonessa have seven World Cup-winning national team players, while Niigata has two.

The game was played before a J. League game between Albirex Niigata and Shimizu S-Pulse.

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