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Group B: Japan 5-0 Myanmar

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Chonburi: Japan began their AFC U-19 Women’s Championship Thailand title defence in style after defeating Myanmar 5-0 in a Group B tie at the IPE Chonburi Stadium on Monday.

Yuzuki Yamamoto and Haruka Osawa gave Japan a 2-0 lead at half-time with Yamamoto, Maho Hirosawa and Sara Ito adding second half goals to complete the resounding win.

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Japan settled quickly and had the first look at goal in the third minute when Osawa caught Myanmar goalkeeper Zu Lat Nadi off guard but her shot struck the bar.

Osawa almost found the target in the sixth minute for Japan after losing her markers, but her finishing left much to be desired as Myanmar’s Lin Myint Mo scrambled the ball to safety.

Myanmar, who are making their fourth appearance in the competition, got into their stride and came close to scoring in the eighth minute through San Thaw Thaw but the captain flashed her shot wide from above the box.

Japan, however, continued to apply pressure and almost broke the deadlock in the 16th minute after Oto Kanno found Ito who forced a fingertip save from Zu.

Myanmar continued to frustrate Japan as Zu was called into action again when she repelled Osawa’s effort from close range in the 18th minute and the custodian made a routine save a minute later to deny Hana Takahashi’s header off a corner.

However, the reigning champions finally hit the target in the 36th minute after Osawa found space inside the area before feeding Yamamoto to score from close range.

Japan extended their advantage three minutes later when Ito delivered a clever ball to Osawa who beat the offside trap before slotting home.

Japan wasted no time in stamping their authority in the second half as they took advantage of a defensive error by Zu to stretch their lead in the 49th minute.

Shino Matsuda did well to break on the left before finding an unmarked Haruka Miura inside the danger area, who sent a well-timed pass to Yamamoto to fire home from close range.

Japan scored their fourth goal in the 66th minute through Hirosawa’s sublime strike from outside the box as she finished off Osawa’s assist.

Myanmar fell further behind a minute later when Kanno fed Ito who found space inside the box before firing home Japan’s fifth goal of the evening.

Japan will face Korea Republic on Thursday, while Myanmar will be aiming for their first win of their campaign when they meet China PR on Matchday Two.

Thet Thet Win: Myanmar head coach
“In the first 17 minutes of the match we competed very well against Japan but after that we made mistakes and gave away goals. In the second half, we couldn’t play as planned as fatigued set in and with Japan pushing forward, it made our job even harder.”

Futoshi Ikeda: Japan head coach
“The players worked very hard to get the result. It was a very physical game especially before the first goal. After the break, I told my players to push for goals and they followed my instructions well and I’m happy with the results.”

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