Argentina vs. Japan - Football Match Report

Nakajima

It was a subdued evening at Parc des Princes, with the 48,000-capacity stadium just over half full - a far cry from the raucous atmosphere during host France's 4-0 win against South Korea on Friday night.

Neither side was able to find a victor in the closing stages, though, with Argentina finishing as the happier team having claimed its first ever World Cup point.

Correa was called into action five minutes after the restart, pawing Kumi Yokoyama's long-range drive into the path of Sugasawa, who blazed over from an acute angle.

The Asian champions let another chance go begging six minutes later when winger Yui Hasegawa missed the mark on a counterattack.

Midfielder Hina Sugita stepped over a cross from wingback Risa Shimizu, allowing the ball to find Hasegawa near the penalty spot, but the 22-year-old playmaker sprayed her shot across goal. Japan was the runner-up at the 2015 World Cup, losing to the United States Women's National Team.

"We don't set out to be defensive against any team", coach Takakura said. It wasn't in our mindset at all. "But the players were cautious today", Takakura said.

Japan dominated possession in the first half but was largely kept at arm's length by Argentina's backline. "However, we weren't good enough to break down Argentina's defense today".

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Since the group stage only eliminates eight of the 24 teams, the draw leaves Japan and Argentina needing one victory in their next two games. "I think we're able to reflect upon what Argentina is and what it means as a team", said Estefania Banini, Argentina's captain, who was voted player of the match.

"The result is disappointing".

Argentina is ranked No. 37 in the world.

"This point for us is really important", Banini said.

"Basically we couldn't play any other way against this team". We had to stay back and be very, very organized and then come out with some counter attacks. "It was satisfying to gain a point in this World Cup". The Japan team will be lead by Saki Kumagai, while Argentina team enter into this World Cup under the captaincy of Florencia Bonsegundo.

But they now face a hard task advancing from their group.

"I'm not going to shy from saying we were up against a superior side, a world power and on the pitch it was a very hard match we had to run loads", Argentina captain and player of the match Estefania Banini said afterwards.

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