Japan’s quest to reach a third consecutive women’s World Cup final began with a dull goalless draw as Argentina claimed their first-ever point at the tournament on Monday, reports Reuters.
Asako Takakura’s Japan, ranked seventh in the world, kept almost two-thirds of ball possession in Paris but struggled to find a way past a disciplined Argentine centre-back pairing of Agustina Barroso and Aldana Cometti.
Japan’s only meaningful chance came just after the interval when forward Kumi Yokoyama’s long-range effort forced goalkeeper Vanina Correa into her first save, before Yuki Sugasawa blasted the rebound over the bar.
The result ensured Carlos Borrello’s Argentina avoided defeat for the first time in a World Cup match, having lost each of their previous six games in the competition. They finished bottom of their group on both previous occasions they had reached the World Cup finals in 2003 and 2007, and captain Estefania Banini believes this result can act as a springboard for the rest of the campaign.