Japan wins, Brazil and Italy draw at U20 World Cup
URAWA, Japan (AP) — Host Japan coasted to a 4-1 thrashing of Mexico while Brazil salvaged a 1-1 draw with Italy on the opening day of the women’s under-20 World Cup.
Hanae Shibata scored in the first half and Hikaru Naomoto, Kumi Yokoyama and Yoko Tanaka added goals after the break as Japan got off to a winning start in Group A. Sofia Huerta struck a late consolation goal for Mexico.
Japan is looking to emulate the 2011 World Cup-winning performance of its senior women’s team.
“We wanted to get off to a strong start and were able to do that tonight,” Japan coach Hiroshi Yoshida said.
In a Group B clash, Amanda scored a spectacular goal two minutes into injury time to give Brazil a share of the points.
Elena Linari gave Italy a 1-0 lead with a superb free kick from 20 meters in the 38th minute.
Brazil came out more aggressive after the break and increased the pressure when Italy’s Federica Di Criscio was sent off with 15 minutes left after two straight yellow cards.
Two minutes into injury time, Amanda burst into the penalty area on the left, kicked the ball over a defender, before firing a volley over the stranded goalkeeper to secure a point for Brazil.
“This is my first World Cup so I was thrilled to score such an important goal,” Amanda said.
In Sunday’s other Group B match, Ngozi Okobi opened the scoring in the 15th minute and Desire Oparanozie extended the advantage midway through the second half as Nigeria beat South Korea 2-0.
In Group A, goals from Evie Millynn and Rosie White in each half saw New Zealand see off Switzerland 2-1.
The United States opens group play against Ghana on Monday in Hiroshima while defending champion Germany faces China.