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22/09/2013

Nadeshiko beat Nigeria 2-0 in first of two friendlies

The Japan women’s team beat their Nigerian counterparts 2-0 in the first game of a two-game international friendly series on Sunday night in Isahaya, Nagasaki Prefecture.
Chelsea forward Ogimi Yuki scored the opener in the 36th minute and Kawasumi Nahomi added a second in the 53rd minute.
Playing before a crowd of 15,206 at the Track and Field Stadium in Nagasaki Prefectural Sports and Recreational Park, Nadeshiko boss Sasaki Norio used two Japan debutants – Miyake Shiori and Kitahara Kana – as center-backs with veteran Kinga Yukari, who returned from a long injury break, and Kamionobe Megumi at full-back.
The hosts also featured Sawa Homare for the first time in seven matches. She teamed up with Miyama Aya in midfield and helped dictate the pace.
In the early part of the game, the new-look backline was tested by the visitors as the Nigerians went on the attack. Nigeria came close three minutes into the game when Esther Sunday hit from the edge of the box. In the 17th minute, the 21-year-old attacker hit the bar from mid-range.
The Nadeshiko ladies responded well to enjoy the greater possession, and with Nakajima Emi coming off the bench midway through the half, the home players found a better rhythm in attack.
Forward Takase Megumi came close with a back-heeled attempt in the 29th minute, while Nakajima hit a shot in the 35th minute that was kept out by Nigeria goalkeeper Ibubelye Whyte.
But Japan’s efforts paid off a minute later as Ogimi took a Miyama pass and slotted home.
Japan went on to attack after the break, with Maruyama Karina coming off the bench for Ogimi at halftime. Sawa, Maruyama and Kamionobe made good attempts before Kawasumi reacted well to a Maruyama rebound in the area to make it 2-0 for Japan in the 53rd minute.
Nigeria lost their momentum but gave the home side a scare in the 68th minute when tall forward Uchechi Lopes Sunday attacked on a counter and cut into the area. But 17-year-old Nadeshiko newcomer Miyake came to the rescue with a good interception.
The Nigerians tried to rally late in the second half and Blessing Edoho dribbled inside to hit from the edge of the box three minutes from time, but Kaihiro Ayumi made no mistake in goal.
The second game of the series will be held on Thursday night at Fukuda Denshi Arena in Chiba.