On Wednesday, 26 July, the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women's National Team) played their second group match of the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ at Dunedin, New Zealand, where they defeated the Costa Rica Women's National Team 2-0.
Following their 5-0 victory over Zambia Women's National Team, Japan made four changes to their lineup. Defensive midfielder HAYASHI Honoka (West Ham United) got her first start in five matches, while MIYAKE Shiori (INAC Kobe Leonessa) took the right centre back position. SUGITA Hina (Portland Thorns FC) was positioned in the left flank and NAOMOTO Hikaru (Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Urawa Reds Ladies) was named as one of the three attackers upfront.
The match started with Japan creating numerous chances from the right side, as FUJINO Aoba (Nippon TV Tokyo Verdy Beleza) and SHIMIZU Risa (West Ham United) delivered crosses and shots one after the other. The opening goal came in the 25th minute, when Naomoto received a pass from TANAKA Mina (INAC Kobe Leonessa) on the left side. The seasoned midfielder then carried the ball into the box and struck a left-footed shot into the net. .....
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