On Wednesday 21 July, the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team) played their first group stage match of the Tokyo Olympics against the Canada Women’s National Team at Sapporo Dome, Hokkaido. Facing the Canadian side who is ranked eighth in the world, Japan drew 1-1 to walk away with a point. In efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the match was played without spectators, making the sounds of the players, passes, shots, and physical contacts echo through the empty stadium.
The match started with Canada taking the initiative through their quick and aggressive pressure. The opening goal came in the sixth minute, when Nichelle PRINCE broke down the right flank before sending a cross towards the centre, allowing Christine SINCLAIR to score her 187th international goal in her 300th cap.
Trailing by a goal, Japan shifted their formation to allow their ace IWABUCHI Mana (Arsenal) to possess the ball in the midfield. However, the Canadian defence led by Kadeisha BUCHANAN showcased a solid performance to keep the Japanese attackers at bay. .....
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