Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Bangkok: Japan issued a reminder of their standing as one of Asia’s strongest outfits, overcoming a resolute Lebanon to secure a 5-1 win in their opening match at the AFC Women’s Futsal Championship 2018.
The Asian Indoor Games silver medallists raced to an early 3-0 lead, but Lebanon – in their first competitive match since 2012 – showed they belong at Asia’s highest level and competed well with one of the continent’s leaders for the majority of the match.
Japan, who now sit on top of Group C, enjoyed an even spread of goal scorers, with five players - including their Ashgabat 2017 top scorer Ryo Egawa finding the net, while Rayane Rachid became the first Lebanese player to score at the tournament.
Things appeared ominous for Lebanon when Mika Eguchi punished some sloppy defending to make it 1-0 inside two minutes, but they defended in a committed and organised fashion from then on.