Japan Demolishes Indian Women’s Soccer Team 7-0

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Japan completely dominated India in their first match of the AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament Round 2, securing a resounding 7-0 victory. The match took place at the Lokomotiv Stadium in Tashkent on Thursday. Employing a defensive approach with a 5-3-2 formation, India’s head coach, Thomas Dennerby, opted for a low block strategy. In the first half, India managed to limit the score to 0-1. The duty of defending primarily fell on the centrebacks Ashalata Devi, Sweety Devi, and Ritu Rani, along with the central midfielders Sangita Basfore, Shilky Devi, and Indumathi Kathiresan, who faced significant challenges in the penalty area.

Although India had some rare attacking opportunities in Japan’s third at the start of the game, they were unable to convert them into goals. Yoshino Nakashima opened the scoring for Japan in the 17th minute. India’s defense performed admirably, restricting Japan’s attacks to wider areas, with support from Dalima Chhibber and Sanju in the fullback positions.

India exhibited moments of promise, with goalkeeper Shreya Hooda making several crucial saves and Ritu Rani making a brave goal line clearance. However, Japan altered their tactics in the second half, focusing on utilizing the wings and delivering crosses into the center. This approach proved fruitful as Japan found the back of the net four times within the first 11 minutes of the second half.

Yoshino Nakashima scored her second goal of the match, followed by a goal from substitute Honoka Hayashi. Mina Tanaka scored a header and assisted Miyabi Moriya to extend Japan’s lead to 5-0 by the 56th minute. Kiko Seike and Hikaru Naomoto added two more goals, securing a resounding 7-0 victory for Japan.

In injury time, India made a last-gasp effort with Ritu Rani delivering a long ball into Japan’s penalty area. Substitute Soumya Guguloth collided with Japan goalkeeper Chika Hirao, and Anju Tamang had an opportunity to score, but her shot went over the crossbar. Unfortunately, India couldn’t salvage any pride in this match.

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