Japan takes lead in first half

The Japanese girls wasted no time in attacking the Nigerian team in the opening seconds with a first attempt at goal.

The second match at Bava Park this evening had a firing start with Japan taking a penalty kick in front of Nigeria's goalmouth in the second minute of the match, only to find the outside corner net.

The local supporters added that boost for Japan, who had more possession of the ball in the entire first half of the match.

Awesome defense by Nigeria's defenders prevented a goal to Japan in the 7th and 8th minutes of the match.

Nigeria came under fire by Japan in the first ten minutes of the match but Nigerian captain Sandra Chiichii kept the ball out of her goalmouth.

A penalty to Japan in the 11th minute saw its No.7, Hina Sugita, get another attempt at goal, which came off the corner net.

By the 19th minute, Japan had majority ball possession against the 2014 runner-up, whose 6 attempts at goal failed.

The pressure was on both sides to register a goal by the 25th minute before an attempt by Chinwendu Ihezuo, No.9 of Nigeria, was blocked off by Japan's backs.

A much-needed 2-minute water break was given to the players at the 30th minute in the humid Port Moresby night weather, which the players were obviously not used to.

The water break seemed to have paid off with Japan's No. 10, Yuka Momiki, registering the first goal in the 34th minute.

Another goal was scored three minutes later by Japan's No. 19, Yuzuho Shiokoshi, in the 37th minute, extending the lead by 2.

It was not long before Nigeria was awarded a penalty but Japan proved a better side, preventing the ball from reaching the net.

An additional time of three minutes was given after 45 minutes, giving Nigeria another chance to register a point in the first half but the Japanese goalkeeper yet again secured her goalmouth.

The second half is now underway. Full time report to come.

Sally Pokiton