The Japanese Continue to Defend their Title

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The Japanese have always struggled against the tenacity of the Australian , but their dominance paid off late in the game.

On yet another corner, Iwabuchi took advantage of a scramble in the box to push the ball into the net at the 87th minute. This goal will not be remembered for its beauty, but for the delight of Japanese who continue the defend their title.

The world champions controlled the ball by possessing it at 60%. Their superior technique and team play allowed them to create the best opportunities.

Ohno has acquired two nice scoring chances in the first half.  Although launched in depth , she tried to loby Williams but did not measure well (8th minute). Minutes later, following a beautiful one-two on the right, Kawasumi sent a low cross earth ball towards the Japanese striker, whose shot ended without control in the side netting (22nd minute).

The captain Miyama was too threatening for the Australian goal keeper. On a rebate, she fired a shot that was unopposed behind Williams (33rd minute).  Shortly before the end, it was the conclusion of a very nice collective effort. On the right, Kawasumi timed to serve Ariyoshi a subtle heel. latter sent a cross to Miyama whose attempt to Madjer grazed the post.

The lack of precision from the Japanese also affected Ogimi, who couldn’t introduce a good center to Kawasumi (85th minute).  The Australians had some opportunities, but they never really put Kaihori in difficulty.

Well served, Kyah Simon couldn’t shoot due to a good return of Iwashimizu (12th minute).
Simon’s long shot was no problem to Kaihori (44th minute) while Van Egmond’s one went over the bar (56th minute).

Kerr had the best Australian opportunity shortly before the hour mark, but without success. Following recovery, she inherited the ball at the entrance point, opened her foot to place a shot that lacked power much to Kaihori’s surprise.  (54th minute).

Japan will face the winner of tonight’s game between Canada and England at the semifinal.

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