Japanese held goalless as U-17 finals kick off in Uruguay

by Victor Pereira, AIPS Young Reporter, Brazil

MALDONADO, November 14, 2018 – The first match of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Uruguay 2018, a 0–0 draw between Brazil and 2016 runners-up Japan, was about preparation and anticipation.

This meant preparation for the rest of a tournament of three weeks with more matches as well as anticipation of the qualities which will be needed in the remainder of Group B.

The score was a true reflection of the match. Brazil and Japan played a technically weak game with few real scoring chances. They managed 24 shots between them but only four were on target.

At first, the Brazilians showed they were not intimidated by the 2014 champions. They had more possession and took advantage of their physical strength. The Japanese proved more effective tactically but failed in the most important aspect – scoring.

The two play again on Friday back in Maldonado when the Japanese face Russia before Brazil play Mexico.

Keepers in the opening spotlight: Japan’s #1 Shu Ohba jumps for the ball against Brazil

Japan had the first clear chance on goal. After 12 minutes, striker Osawa received a pass inside the goal area but shot wide of the left hand post. Three minutes later Brazil defender Isadora set up striker Emily who drew a good save from goalkeeper Ohba.

The game remained even with half-chances at both ends for Japanese striker Chiina Kamiya and Brazil midfielder Vitoria. After that, it was all Japan and Brazil barely crossed the halfway line.

Brazil’s #1 Mayara Nabosne Harendt. (Photo: FIFA/Getty Images)

Brazil returned for the second half without their best goal hope in striker Jheniffer who was injured and to be replaced by right-back Bruna, also with the purpose of controlling the Japanese attack.

This also gave the Brazilians a little more freedom but left-back Gisseli missed a clear opportunity. Japan went close, in turn, through midfielder Momoka Kinoshita but, after that, the two goalkeepers did not have much more work before the final whistle.

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