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Australia and Japan defeated, China PR on song


Friday, April 5, 2019
Japan-France-AFP

Kuala Lumpur: Australia and Japan both tasted defeat against FIFA Women's World Cup contenders, while China PR eased to a win against Russia on a busy night of international action on the road to France 2019.


FRANCE 3-1 JAPAN

Japan suffered a setback against FIFA Women's World Cup hosts France, falling to a 3-1 defeat at Stade de l'Abbé-Deschamps in Auxerre.

The loss is the second in a row for the Nadeshiko, who suffered a 3-0 defeat to France 2019 group stage rivals England in their previous match last month.

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An opportunistic volley from Valérie Gauvin gave the Les Bleues the lead in just the third minute, before 21-year-old Rikako Kobayasahi fired the Asian champions level to cap a fine move in the 24th minute.

But that's where the joy ended for Asako Takakura's side, as Eugénie Le Sommer added a third in the 33rd minute, before Kadidadiatou added France's third and final goal eight minutes from time.

Japan's pre-World Cup build-up continues with another difficult assignment against world number two Germany in Paderborn next Tuesday.


UNITED STATES 5-3 AUSTRALIA

An eight-goal thriller ended in a 5-3 victory for 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup winners the United States, after Australia had held an lead early in the second half in Denver.

Seven different players found the back of the net in a highly-entertaining clash between numbers one and six in the world rankings, but three goals in 14 second-half minutes proved decisive for the World Champions, who took their unbeaten run on home soil to 29 matches.

Unable to beat the Matildas in their previous two meetings in the US, the Americans began strongly and took the lead through the prolific Alex Morgan, who tricked her way through the Australian defence before rifling her 100th international goal in the 14th minute.

But Ante Milicic's side responded, first equalising through Lisa De Vanna's arrow-like 27th minute equaliser after a sweeping transition from defence to attack, then taking the lead via Caitlin Foord's terrific goal in two minutes into the second half.

From there, the US exploded into life, with Tobin Heath, Megan Rapinoe and substitue Mallory Pugh all scoring in the space of a quarter of an hour to punish some questionable Australian defending.

Sam Kerr gave Australia hope when she scored a towering header - her first international goal against the Americans - with nine minutes remaining, but Pugh lobbed Lydia Williams on the break with the final kick of the game to consign the Matildas to their first defeat under Milicic.


CHINA PR 4-1 RUSSIA

China PR started the Wuhan International Tournament in style, registering a thumping 4-1 win over Russia at Hangkou Cultural Sports Centre Stadium on Thursday.

The Steel Roses bounced back from an indifferent showing in last month's Algarve Cup to score three goals in 12 second-half minutes and set up a meeting with Cameroon in Sunday's tournament final.

Despite the final result, it was Russia who opened the scoring through Nadezhda Smirnova in the eighth minute, before Yang Li netted from close range nine minutes later to ensure the sides would be level at half-time.

NATIONAL TEAM | Full time: China 4-1 Russia (Yang Li 14', Wang Shanshan 65' 77', Song Duan 75'; Nadezhda Smirnova 8'). Good debut for the Steel Roses in the Four Nation Tournament of Wuhan! #SteelRoses #WomenInFootball pic.twitter.com/KeE3Sm56Jw

— China Women's National Football Team (@ChinaWNFT) April 4, 2019

The introduction of Wang Shanshan made a big impact after the break, with the prolific scorer heading home a corner kick, moments after coming on as a substitute in the 65th minute, and a precise breakaway saw Song Duan extend the lead in the 74th minute..

Song then turned provider for Wang just one minute later, as China PR eased to a 4-1 win to set up Sunday's clash with Cameroon, who beat Croatia 2-1.

Photos: AFP