Japan registered a thumping 5-0 win over Zambia to kick start their World Cup campaign in some magnificent style. The Futoshi Ikeda coached side displayed some serious amount of quality performances to ensure that their opponents didn’t stand a chance. The Japanese side was undoubtedly the better of the two teams as they dominated major part of the game. They had 60% of the ball possession and attempted 26 shots in comparison to Zambia’s zero. Thanks to this brilliant performance, Japan are right at the top of the table in their group with 3 points to their name besides a goal difference of +5.
Japan began their domination right from the early stages of the game. The side has their first big chance with just 10 minutes on the clock as Fujino went for a powerful right footed strike from distance only to see his shot come off the woodwork. Japan thought they had opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Zambia failed to deal with Endo’s free kick, as the ball bobbled into the path Mina Tanaka who smashed it into the net with sheer power. The goal was ruled out by VAR for being offside much to the disappointment of the Japanese. Despite this, the pin point passing, and brilliant forward game play didn’t stop as Japan continued to create chances in and around Zambia’s box. They finally had their goal in the 43rd minute when Fujino found Hasegawa’s perfect pass and in turn delievered a delightful ball into the front post where Miyazawa poked it home calmly.
The second half began and so did Japan’s dominance. After having a goal chopped off by VAR again and a penalty decision overturned inside the first 10 minutes of the second half, Japan were eventually able to make it 2-0 in the 55th minute. Endo drove in behind Tanaka and provided her with a fine pass as the striker found the bottom right corner precisely. Japan had another as Tanaka drilled in a pass at the near post which wasn’t dealt with by Musonda and fell kindly for Miyazawa who completed her brace with ease. Jun Endo made it 4-0 at the 71st minute as she found the net with a smart finish after having received the pass initially by Hasegawa. The final big moment in the match came at the 7th minute of added time, when Musonda was sent off for committing a ruthless foul after having raced off her line. Riko Ueki who initially missed the penalty from the spot eventually converted it on the second attempt after being asked to retake it. FT:- Japan 5-0 Zambia
Japan shall next be facing Costa Rica. Zambia meanwhile shall take on Spain in their next Group stage game.