Chile 0-1 Japan
by Jean-Pierre Thiesset
Pictured above: Japan, on the way to the Quarter-Finals. Photo: Getty Images.
Despite producing another pleasing performance, Chile were not able to step up to Japan level and lost 1-0.
Japan started the game with a lot of pressure and speed and had two shots on goal within the opening two minutes.
After this start, a little bit more equilibrium fell over the game as Chile had a freekick (5), a shot off target (7), and a corner kick.
However, Japan then re-set themselves and created opportunities. A shot from a corner by Honoka Hayashi was saved by Christiane Endler (12), who also denied Mana Iwabachi five minutes later with her left foot. There was now a flurry of chances for the host nation as Yuita Sagasawa and Hina Sagita (22) both had opportunities. Whilst the possession was almost even, 48% for Chile and 52% for Japan, after 25 minutes Japan had already 6 shots included 3 on goal while Chile had only 1 shot off target.
The remainder of the half was all Japan. Narumi Miura (33 and 34), Yui Hasegawa (36), Sagasawa (40) and Iwabachi (41) all had chances. During this period, we saw only one freekick for Chile at the 31st minute.
However, Chile resisted and preserved their goal to keep a draw at halftime. Overall, possession during first half was 59% for Japan.
The second half started as the first finished with a strong domination from Japan and Chile which continued to try to play but which was not able to bring the ball close enough to the Japan goal line to be dangerous. Japan continued to have a lot of shots and corner kicks without putting the ball in the Chile net. For the South Americans, Francisca Lara put a cross in, but Ayaka Yamashita claimed it at the sixty first minute.
From there, the ball went from one side to the other with a few opportunities for both teams until the sixty ninth minute where Chile almost scored on a counterattack when Yamara Aedo put a ball at the penalty kick spot with a spectacular returned bicycle over her head which was shot towards the goal by a header from Lara; the ball hit the crossbar and bounced back on goal line only an inch from with the Japan goalkeeper beaten. It was the first and the last true opportunity to score for Chile despite their willingness to play.
The rest of the game was totally dominated by Japan who increased the pressure further and was rewarded at the seventy seventh minutes after Lara lost the ball in her part of the field to the dangerous Iwabachi on the left. Her cross found Mina Tanaka near the penalty spot who shot on the right of Endler, who couldn’t do anything, to score the only goal of the game.
Endler kept the score to 1-0 by sending a shot from Emi Nakajima, which was on target, on to the crossbar at the 85th minute.
At the end of the game, Chile had four shots (none on goal), Japan 21 shots (8 on goal), and Japan 60% of possession.
Chile finished with 0 points but played some good football. We saw players that had very good skills and that could play in Europe.
Teams: CHILE: Endler (C), Guerrero, Lara, Araya, Urrutia, Aedo, Lopez, Pardo, Zamora, Balmaceda, Saez. Substitutes used: Acuna, Pinilla, Toro, Grez, Mardones.
JAPAN: Yamashita, Shimizu, Takarada, Kumagai, Sugita, Miura, Sagasawa, Iwabachi, Hasegawa, Kitamura, Hayashi. Substitutes used: Nakajima, Tanaka, Endo, Momoka.
Scorers: Tanaka 77
Referee: Melissa Borjas (HON)