Olympics hosts Japan overcame an early Canadian goal and a missed penalty to tie in the closing minutes of their debut in the women’s soccer tournament with a goal from forward Mana Iwabuchi.
English Arsenal’s next forward saved a point in the host’s debut at the Sapporo dome, where it was clearly outmatched in the first half by a Canada that football punished its complacency with 0-1, even more with the clear warning of the penalty saved by Canadian goalkeeper Stephanie Labbé after the break. The Japanese push ended up being rewarded with the draw.
Canada began sending, and the prize came quickly to their control: a low center of Nichelle Prince on the right found the incorporation from behind the captain Christine Sinclair, who in the first instance crashed his shot against the post, but picked up the rebound and did not forgive.
The goal made the Japanese react, with shots from Narumi Miura and Iwabuchi, but their attempts carried more will than real danger. Canada was comfortable and even threw a backlash with their wingers, Prince and Janine Beckie. Only the Japanese right-back Risa Shimizu, with a strong shot from outside the area, high, slightly disturbed the Canadian goalkeeper.
Steph Labbé would be the protagonist as soon as the game resumed, committing a penalty on the Japanese forward Tanaka Mine, recently entered the field of play and who received a good pass to the interior space Yui Hasegawa. Brazilian referee Edina Alves confirmed the maximum penalty after reviewing the video referee monitor.
However, the Japanese forward did not take advantage of the opportunity, since she fired centered and at medium height, easy for a Labbé He held on without defeating himself and cleared with ease, although he had to retire a few minutes later due to the impact of the crash with the lead. Canada, fueled by relief, even scored through Beckie, but the goal was canceled for offside.
Japan turned on the attack against a contemplative Canada and won its prize six minutes from the end, when a long ball from the right wing to the run of Iwabuchi She demonstrated the speed of the Asian forward, who got ahead of the defenders and hit pot soon to beat an ill-placed Kailen Sheridan, a replacement for Labbé.
The multiple changes of the Canadian coach in the 8 minutes of injury time did not break a tie that places both teams with one point, behind Great Britain that accumulates three. Japan will play its second game on Saturday 24 against the British team, and Canada against Chile on the same day.
Japan: Ikeda; Shimizu, Kumagai, Minami, Kitamura; Shiokoshi (Endo, min. 62), Miura, Nakajima (Sugita, min. 76), Hasegawa (Momiki, min. 90); Sugasawa (Tanaka, min. 46), Iwabuchi.
Canada: Labbe (Sheridan, min. 58); Lawrence (Viens, min. 84), Buchanan, Zadorsky, Chapman; Scott, Fleming, Quinn (Rose, min. 73); Prince (Leon, min. 85), Sinclair, Beckie.
Goal: 0-1, min. 6: Sinclair. 1-1, min. 84: Iwabuchi
Referee: Edina Alves (BRA). He showed a yellow card to the Canadian Labbé (min. 55).
Incidents: Match of the first day of Group E the women’s soccer competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games played at the Sapporo Dome stadium (Japan) without spectators due to restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.