Iwabuchi scores in Nadeshiko’s 1-0 win over Denmark

なでしこジャパン アルガルベカップ 岩渕選手の得点でデンマークに勝利

 Iwabuchi Mana struck the game’s sole goal shortly before halftime to give the Japan women’s team a 1-0 win over Denmark in their second match at the Algarve Cup in Portugal on Friday.
 It was their first win in the tournament after drawing with the United States two days previously. Japan will play Sweden on Monday in their third game.
In the day’s other match, Sweden, guided by former U.S. coach Pia Sundhage, beat the United States 1-0 to end the Americans’ 43-game unbeaten streak.
With the results, Japan are in second place with four points, behind Group B leaders Sweden (six points) and ahead of the United States on goal difference. Denmark remained with no points at the bottom of the four-team table.
 Japan changed eight of their starting lineup from the U.S. game with only Miyama Aya, Iwashimizu Azusa and Ariyoshi Saori keeping their places. Iwabuchi and Takase Megumi played up front.
 The goal came in the 43rd minute when Iwabuchi got a ball from Miyama on the right side and cut into the box before driving the ball home with her right foot.
It was Iwabuchi’s first goal since February 2010 at the East Asian Women’s Championship.
Denmark attempted to rally and came close in the 55th minute when forward Karoline Nielsen blasted in from the right, but Japan goalkeeper Fukumoto Miho made a good save.
Japan had chances to widen their lead with efforts from Miyama, Ariyoshi, Ogimi Yuki and Utsugi Rumi but they couldn’t find the target again.
 Iwabuchi said, “I found some space so I just hit a shot as forcefully as I could. I’m relieved to score today as I really want to score whenever I play for the Nadeshiko.”
 “We moved the ball better than in the U.S. game,” said Miyama. “I tried to help my teammates show the good parts of their game as much as I could.”
 Japan boss Sasaki Norio said, “Our players prepared well for this game. We defended well and Iwabuchi scored well.
“We trained to pressure our opponents from the front, which worked well today. Iwabuchi showed what she has in her ability, but we should have scored on the chances we had after taking the lead.”