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Japan beat Argentina 2-0 in Olympic tune up

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 29 Jul 2008

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Forwards Shinobu Ono and Yuki Nagasato scored one goal each to give Japan a 2-0 win over Argentina on Tuesday in a women's tune-up match for the Beijing Olympics.

Midfielder Aya Miyama sent a perfect cross from the left into the area, where Ono slided to hit the ball into the net in the 33rd minute to open Japan's scoring.

Three minutes later, defender Kozue Ando's header hit the left post, but Ono quickly collected the rebound for Nagasato's goal to make it two up.

“Although we won today, I was disappointed that we couldn't play our usual, active play. We tried to score a goal as soon as possible and it made us rush a little bit,” said Japan coach Norio Sasaki.

“I used players who hadn't played for a while, but the combination with them was not so good. Overall, everybody couldn't play her game except (Homare) Sawa.”

Japan dominated the first half hitting more than 10 shots on goal, while Argentina managed to hit only one long, blunt shot.

Japan had a chance to make it 3-0 shortly after the break, but Ando's shot again hit the left post in the 49th minute.

After the Japanese women slowed down, Argentina fought back and midfielder Fabiana Gisela Vallejos' long shot hit the bar in the 65th minute, while Analia Almeida's attempt swung wide four minutes later.

Their last chance on a free kick by Eva Nadia Gonzalez was easily saved by goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto in the 85th minute.

“Miyama gave me a nice cross, I just needed to touch it. We (me and Nagasato) both tried to take the space behind their defenders. That worked pretty well today,” Ono said.

At the Olympics, Japan will play New Zealand, Norway and the United States in Group G, while Argentina will take on China, Sweden and Canada in Group E.

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