On Thursday 5 March, the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) played their first match of the 2020 SheBelieves Cup against the Spain Women's National Team and lost the match 1-3.
The two sides had clashed before last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup where they drew 1-1, and both sides entered this match with the intention to gain positive momentum ahead of the Summer Olympics.
The Nadeshiko Japan, who has kept clean sheets in five consecutive matches following the Women’s World Cup, started YAMASHITA Ayaka in goal, while the team’s youngest player, ENDO Jun, started in the left fullback position. In offence, IKEJIRI Mayu was named in the right flank, earning yet another start after starting the second and third match of last year’s EAFF E-1 Football Championship. It was the experienced duo of SUGASAWA Yuika and IWABUCHI Mana, who were named upfront as the two strikers. Against Japan’s 4-4-2 formation, Spain employed a 4-3-3 formation, where their defensive midfielder played a key role to control both their offence and defence, while their attackers positioned themselves deep in the Japanese territory......
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