Japan v Scotland | Group Stage 2019

FIFA Women's World Cup | Roazhon Park

Japan has been much more like itself, following the disappointment of their dramatic opening match against Argentina, in the 2-1 victory against Scotland. In the first half the Scots were completely outdone with their superiority rewarding the goals of Iwabuchi and Sugasawa. Scotland fought in the second period and scored an outstanding early objective with Lana Clelland, just like they did against England. Only one victory against Argentina will now keep Scotland’s hope. But it’s been too little again, too late.

“It was a must-win game and, although there were tough moments, we’re very happy to get the win. We had to be aggressive and score goals, and that’s what we did. We didn’t show our true selves in the first game at this tournament but this was a lot more like the true Japan. I expect a lot of my players and today we managed to win against a wonderful Scottish team. But at the same time, we can still improve certain aspects of our game and we will keep discussing how to do that.”
Asako Takakura, Japan coach

A deceptional day for Scotland in Rennes, as the team could not reach Japan until the match died. However, in the next few days the team will quickly lift its heads because they still have the opportunity to qualify if they can beat Argentina during the next game.

“We conceded two bad goals through mistakes. Take those mistakes away and the game’s a lot closer. I think we saw the real Japan today – their movement was incredible, as we knew it would be. But for most of the second half we were terrific and, again, we finished very strongly. I’m immensely proud of the players. We need to build on that second half, rest up and get ready for the match against Argentina.”
Shelley Kerr, Scotland coach

In the assault and defense, the whole of Japan contributed. It was a game that highlighted the team’s finest characteristics. In the second half they went under pressure, so there is still space for improvement before the game with England. This young team can still placed a great deal of trust in their luggage before moving to Nice.

Image: Kane Oosty/FIFA