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Women's Football World Cup News
Japan 2 (Nagasato 6, Miyama 68) New Zealand 1 (Hearn 12)
att: 12,538; at Bochum
A second half free kick by Aya Miyama handed Japan three points in their opening World Cup fixture against New Zealand in Bochum.
Japan started the game strongly with Miyama twice going close to scoring before they took a sixth minute lead when Shinobu Ohno's inch perfect through ball released Yuki Nagasato on goal and she lobbed the advancing Jenny Bindon.
However Japanese joy lasted just a further six minutes, New Zealand levelling the scores as a Ria Percival cross was met by Amber Hearn who headed powerfully home.
Mizuho Sakaguchi struck the post shortly afterwards for Japan but New Zealand tightened things up at the back from that point to ensure that they went into the break on level terms.
In the second half, Japan pressed forward with New Zealand content to hit on the break but they made the breakthrough midway through the half. After Mana Iwabuchi had been fouled on the edge of the area by Rebecca Smith, Miyama stepped up to curl her shot over the wall and past Bindon to send her side back in front.
Iwabuchi had a chance to extend Japan's lead when her close range shot was saved by Bindon but her side saw the game out to make sure of a victorious start.
Japan: Ayumi Kaihori, Yukari Kinga, Azusa Iwashimizu, Saki Kumagai, Aya Sameshima, Mizuho Sakaguchi, Kozue Ando (sub Asuna Tanaka 90mins), Aya Miyama, Yuki Nagasato (sub Karina Maruyama 76mins), Homare Sawa, Shinobu Ohno (sub Mana Iwabuchi 55mins).
New Zealand: Jenny Bindon, Ria Percival (sub Annalie Longo 76mins), Anna Green, Katie Hoyle, Abby Erceg, Rebecca Smith, Ali Riley, Katie Bowen (sub Hayley Moorwood 45mins), Amber Hearn, Sarah Gregorius (sub Hannah Wilkinson 62mins), Betsy Hassett.
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