–UPDATED: July 28th, 10:20 PM – Additional information added about Japan’s standing in their bracket–
Despite a strong first win against Canada this week, Nadeshiko Japan tied 0-0 against Sweden in their second women’s Olympic soccer match, played at Britain’s City of Coventry Stadium. Japan took numerous shots at Sweden, but wasn’t able to score a goal. In a tight back-and-forth game, Sweden kept Japanese fans on their toes as they took several shots of their own. But in the end, neither team could break through the other’s defenses. One lineup change of note was when team leader, Homare Sawa, was swapped out at the 59 minute mark with Asuna Tanaka. The women’s national team may not have won, but they certainly didn’t let Sweden do so either, and a tie is definitely better than a loss, right?
Japan defeated Canada 2-1 on Thursday, the team’s opening Olympic game. Nadeshiko was up 2-0 by the end of the first half in that match, however Canada did manage to come back and score one goal. The national women’s team also beat Australia 3-0 in a friendly match about two weeks ago, however just days before facing Canada, Japan was beaten by France 2-0 in the last friendly before the London Games.
In a bit of a disappointment, Nadeshiko was subjected to some unjust treatment in their travel arrangements to London. The Japanese men’s team got bumped up to business class by their sponsors, while the women’s team remained in economy plus, a seating situation unfitting of the 2011 Women’s World Cup champions, or of the Women’s Player of the Year Homare Sawa! However the team hasn’t let it phase them, and it’s clear they’re still playing at their best.
UPDATE: Despite the 0-0 score, both Japan and Sweden will remain in the top place of their division as they each won their first games.
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