Ar­gentina’s draw with Ja­pan is the big­gest upset of the World Cup so far

Lodi News-Sentinel - - SPORTS - — David Wil­son, The Mi­ami Her­ald

The year is 2015 and Ja­pan is still an in­ter­na­tional powerhouse.

It trav­els to Canada late in the spring hop­ing to de­fend its 2011 Women’s World Cup ti­tle and nearly does it, just fall­ing short against the United States in the cham­pi­onship game.

Ar­gentina is ab­sent al­to­gether and just a few months later its play­ers will have nowhere to play. By the end of the sum­mer, fund­ing runs out and Ar­gentina shuts down its women’s pro­gram for about two years.

Here’s how you can watch the Women’s World Cup: Full TV sched­ule, times, dates, scores

Some­how, the two-year gap wasn’t a death knell for Ar­gentina’s 2019 Women’s World Cup hopes. Ar­gentina started play­ing again in 2017 and fin­ished third in Copa Amer­ica, earn­ing a spot in a play­off to win its way to France for the 2019 World Cup.

This all made for one of the most un­likely open­ing-week matchups of the World Cup, pit­ting Ja­pan and Ar­gentina against each other in a Group D match and, some­how, Ar­gentina played to a 0-0 draw against Ja­pan in Paris.

Per­haps the big­gest upset of the World Cup is how Ar­gentina, which had an all­time scor­ing dif­fer­en­tial of neg­a­tive-31 in two pre­vi­ous World Cup ap­pear­ances, se­cured its first point on the world’s big­gest stage.

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