Penalty kick lifts Japan to victory
VANCOUVER, Canada — Aya Miyama scored on a penalty kick in the 29th minute as defending Women’s World Cup champion Japan opened with a 1-0 victory over newcomer Switzerland on Monday night.
Miyama’s penalty, on a low shot to the left side of the goal, came after Swiss goalkeeper Gaelle Thalmann was given a yellow card after a collision with Japan’s Kozue Ando inside the box. Yuki Ogimi set up the run by Ando with a chip over the Switzerland defense.
The Japanese came close to anther goal midway through the second half when Yuika Sugasawa’s shot hit the post.
Ramona Bachmann, who had several quality runs on goal in the second half for Switzerland, had an open shot in the box in the final minute of stoppage time — pushing the ball just over the goal.
Bachmann also had a strong effort shortly after halftime when she got past three players and goalkeeper Erina Yamane but the Swiss star slipped, enabling the Japanese to clear their lines.