Sunday, September 19, 2010

Japan reach FIFA U-17 women’s semis

Arima: Japan became the third Asian team to reach the semi-finals of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup here in Trinidad and Tobago after a hardfought 2-1 victory over the Republic of Ireland in a tense and even encounter.

Japan’s Kumi Yokoyama sealed victory with her fifth goal of the finals after Ireland had drawn level. The Japanese now play DPR Korea in an all-Asian last four. Hikaru Naomoto put Japan ahead with a penalty in the 34th minute but this lead was neutralized by Denise O Sullivan in the 53rd minute.

The first attempts on goal for Japan came from Yokoyama in the 16th minute and a few seconds later, both missing the target by a whisker.

The Irish defence was broken down when Megan Campbell made light contact with Yokoyama inside the area and the Canadian referee pointed to the spot. Naomoto stepped up and pushed the ball to Maloney’s left to make it 1-0 in the 34th minute.

The scores were level when Denise O’Sullivan hit a cleared rebound into an open goal after a mistake by goalkeeper Eri Hirao but Yokoyama fired the winning goal a few minutes later after squeezing past Ciara O’Brien and striking well with her right-foot into the top corner from the edge of the box.

Ireland equalized almost immediately but Hirao pulled off a couple of saves to ensure that Japan met defending champions DPR Korea in the semi-finals in Couva on 21 September.

Source: Related Posts with Thumbnails




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