[UNDER-17 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP]
Americans may still think of themselves as the dominant power in the world of girls soccer, but they were given a lesson in
attacking soccer by Japan in their first game at the inaugural Under-17 Women's World Cup in New Zealand. The Americans needed only 139 seconds to go ahead on
's goal, but the Japanese then bombarded the U.S. goal, hitting the crossbar three times in the first half and twice coming back from one-goal deficits to win, 3-2, on
three stunning goals.
The USA, which had already lost Hawaiian striker Tani Costa
on the eve of the tournament with an ankle injury, had midfielder Erika Tymrak
go off with a hip injury 30 minutes into the game.
As substitute Elizabeth Eddy
waited at midfield to come on, Japan
equalized when Chiaki Shimada
's brilliant strike from 35 yards out slammed off the crossbar and rebounded into the middle of the U.S. penalty area, where
scored on the rebound.
Star Kristie Mewis
put the United States ahead in the 51st minute
with a shot from 22 yards that wrong-footed Japanese goalkeeper Saki Nakamura
, but Japan equalized in the 68th minute on a spectacular strike by Natsumi Kameoka
from 36 yards.
Six minutes later, Japan went ahead for the first time on another brilliant strike. Akane Saito
flicked the ball with her head to substitute Kei Yoshioka
, who settled with her chest at the top of the penalty area and hit a
sizzling volley into the upper left corner.
Next up for the USA: Paraguay Sunday back at Hamilton's Waikato Stadium.
In the second Group C game, France scored three
goals in the first 17 minutes and went on to beat Paraguay, 6-2, in a game highlighted by Pauline Crammer
's hat trick.
In Group D, England
upset Brazil, 3-0, with three goals in the last 20 minutes, and Nigeria edged South Korea, 2-1. GAME SUMMARY: Oct. 30 in Hamilton Japan 3 USA 2.
Goals: Iwabuchi 31, Kameoka 68, Yoshioka 74; DiMartino 3, K.Mewis 51. USA --
Vancil, Brooks, Colohan, Quon, Tymrak (Eddy, 32), Roberts, S.Mewis (Johnson, 86), Laddish (Klei, 52), K.Mewis, DiMartino, Verloo. Japan --
Nakamura, K.Chiba, M.Chiba, Kishikawa, Kameoka, Shimada (Tanaka, 59), Takeyama, Inoue (Yoshioka, 69), Kira (Hamada, 91+), Iwabuchi, Saito. Yellow
Japan -- Iwabuchi 93+; USA -- 70. Referee:
Thalia Mitsi (Greece). Att.:
DAY 1 RESULTS: Group A
Oct. 28 in
New Zealand 0 Canada 1 (Lamarre 27). Oct. 29 in Auckland
Denmark 1 (Boye 51) Colombia 1 (Ariza 20).
Group B Oct. 29 in Christchurch
Germany 5 (Mester 17, Marozsan 34, 43, Knaak 51, Kemme 66) Costa Rica 0.
North Korea 1 (Byol 69) Ghana 1 (Dadson 73).
Oct. 30 in Hamilton
Japan 3 (Iwabuchi 31, Kameoka 68, Yoshioka 74) USA 2 (DiMartino 3, K.Mewis 51).
France 6 (Crammer
5, 12, pen. 61, Poulain 17, Augis 58, Catala 86) Paraguay 3 (Gonzalez 45, Genes 90).
Oct. 30 in Wellington
England 3 (Carter 71, 89, Bruton 75) Brazil 0.
Nigeria 2 (Adekwagh 1, Aighewi 60) South Korea 1
(Ji So Yun 85).