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Wednesday, 29th June 2011
In Japan Sports News, Sports,

Japan start World Cup campaign with a win

The Japanese women's football team has kicked off their World Cup campaign with a 2-1 group-stage win over New Zealand.

A sixth-minute goal from Yuki Nagasato put Japan in the driving seat before it was cancelled out by New Zealand's Amber Hearn. It took a 68th-minute free kick from Aya Miyama to settle the score.

Norio Sasaki, the head coach of the football team known as the Nadeshiko, has his eyes firmly on the final, to be held on July 17th. But first, they have to overcome their other two group opponents: England and Mexico.

"England is a fantastic team with discipline so if we beat England then I do feel we would be able to go to the final," he told AFP.

"Our next opponent is Mexico and we've played some friendlies, Olympic preliminaries and so on in the past. In recent years Mexico has gained power and improved. We feel it wouldn't have been as easy against Mexico."

The Japanese women's team will play Mexico on July 1st.

Written by Susan Ballion

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