Defensive Argentina hold Japan to a draw

14 Juin, 2019, 21:46 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Japan takes on Argentina in a group stage match of the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup on Monday

Argentina held former champion Japan to a 0-0 draw Monday to earn its first ever point in the Women's World Cup.

In Paris, Argentina restricted Japan, finalists in the last two World Cups, to three risky chances without creating a clear scoring opportunity of their own as the game ended in the first goalless draw of the competition and only the seventh in the competition's history.

Japan's passing supremacy - which yielded 61 percent of first half possession - remained consistent throughout the opening 45 minutes, but it didn't translate to goalmouth action, as Asako Takakura's side produced only two shots, neither of them on target, before the interval.

Japan showed more urgency after the break and should have taken the lead when Sugasawa fired a rebound over the crossbar after Argentina goalkeeper Correa had fumbled Kumi Yokoyama's 30-yard shot. Japan - the 2011 World Cup champions - entered the game ranked No. 7 in the world.

The result will be confidence-inducing for Phil Neville's side, as it puts England firmly ahead in the Group D standings with Japan, objectively their strongest opponents, already on the back foot.

With the victory, the Reds, ranked fifth in the world, topped Group E standings for the moment with the other two teams, New Zealand and the Netherlands, kicking off against each others in Le Havre on Tuesday.

"We were really a bit tight, and maybe it cost us the win", Sameshima, 31, said. "It was satisfying to gain a point in this World Cup".

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The closest chance came after nine minutes when Narumi Miura flashed wide of Vanina Correa's right-hand post from a promising position.

"We knew that if we opened up, we would get hurt".

Argentina scored in just one of the last four.

Where: Parc des Princes in Paris, France.

The gap between the sides was not so evident, but also because Japan, runner-up in 2015, was lackluster.

She was tenacious both with and without the ball and both first-half yellow cards were for rough Japanese challenges on the Argentine captain.

The intensity was raised at the start of the second-half as Japan sought a breakthrough. But all eyes were on her teammate Christine Sinclair, who is four goals away from becoming the sport's all-time worldwide top scorer. Later Monday Canada face Cameroon in Group E.

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