In their final match of the 2018 Tournament of Nations, Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) faced the Australia Women’s National Team, who were competing for the title with the USA Women’s National Team. Against the opponent they fought twice in the AFC Asia Cup in April, this time they squared off in Chicago after loosing two consecutive matches during the competition. Desperately needing a win, Japan was seen applying aggressive pressure from their two strikers, TANAKA Mina and YOKOYAMA Kumi in the early minutes.
It was Japan who created the first goal scoring opportunity. In the fifth minute, NAKAJIMA Emi made an overlap in the right flank before driving the ball into the centre where HASEGAWA Yui made an effort to connect with the ball but came short from scoring the goal. Yokoyama had her chance moments later when she received the ball from Tanaka, while Nakajima struck a shot in the 14th minute, but Japan failed to convert any of those opportunities to score the opening goal.
The Japanese defence showcased great efforts as the centre halves SAMESHIMA Aya and MIYAKE Shiori responded quickly to shutdown threats in the penalty area. The two fullbacks, SAKAGUCHI Moeno and SHIMIZU Risa also showcased solid defence to deny the Australian strikers from taking free shots. Goalkeeper HIRAO Chika, who was making her first appearance on the pitch also displayed a quality performance to keep the match scores for the first half......
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