News Update


Japan, a powerhouse, has fired five of Zambia’s former rookies.

Japan’s flawless start at the Fifa Women’s World Cup began with a resounding 5-0 victory over tournament rookies Zambia.

The two goals scored by Hinata Miyazawa were sandwiched between goals by Mina Tanaka and Jun Endo.

After giving up a late penalty in Hamilton, New Zealand, Zambia’s goalkeeper Catherine Musonda was shown a second yellow card.

Substitute for her The penalty kick was saved by Eunice Sakala, but she was called off her line, and Riko Ueki scored for Japan on the rebound.

Japan now leads Group C with a better goal differential than Spain.

The late penalty issued to Futoshi Ikeda’s team means that penalties have been given in all seven games so far this competition, with only three being converted.

Aoba Fujino was the Nadeshiko’s biggest threat in the opening minutes, with his close-range effort requiring a fingertip save from Musonda and his 25-yard effort hitting the post two minutes later.

After 20 minutes, the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) intervened to rule out Mina Tanaki’s goal for offside. The Japan forward had reacted fast to the Copper Queens’ inability to clear their lines from Endo’s inswinging free kick, but the VAR stepped in to rule out the goal because Tanaki was offside.

Miyazawa raced onto Fujino’s ball played across the face of goal and calmly finished with his right foot to give Japan the lead immediately before halftime.

Tanaki had her second goal of the game called out for offside, and then shortly after, Japan had a penalty revoked when Fujino, who was taken out in the area by Musonda, was found to be narrowly offside in the build-up. VAR took center stage once again in the chaotic beginning of the second half.

However, in the 55th minute, Tanaki scored Japan’s second goal when she dove in front of a defender to head in Endo’s cross.

Miyazawa quickly added a second on a tap-in, and Endo made it 4-0 by the 71st minute.

Musonda raced out in the seventh minute of stoppage time and knocked down Ueki inside the area, receiving her second yellow card and awarding Japan a penalty.

The initial shot was saved by substitute keeper Sakala, making her international debut, but she was called off her line by VAR after tipping the strike into the bar, allowing Ueki to score her team’s fifth on the rebound.


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