Penalty kick lifts Ja­pan to victory

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS -

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.

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