Japan’s national women’s football team earned a respectable 1-1 draw with England at a football friendly match at the Pirelli Stadium in Burton. The match was part of England’s preparations for the European Championship in July and playing against the Nadeshiko, current World Champions, was a good test for the English side.
They scored just before half-time through Chelsea striker Eniola Aluko, who was played in by Rachel Yankey. It was a pleasant surprise as England started slow and struggled with possession in the midfield against the visitors, who were also silver medalists at the London Olympics in 2012. But the Japanese defense also had trouble trying to contain the attack of their opponents and four minutes before the break, they finally broke through.
The second half saw the English side a bit more aggressive, but an error in midfield plus a lapse in the defense allowed the visitors to equalize fourteen minutes before full-time. Nahomi Kawasumi capitalized on the mistake by Fara Williams to slot it home for the equalizer. The Nadeshiko had the chance to win the game but Emi Nakajima’s shot hit the post. England had their chance also, but Lucy Bronze’s goal was ruled out for offside. But despite missing four key players to injury, the English side put up a spirited fight against a strong Japan team.
[ via BBC Sport ]