Brazil and Japan kicked off the 2017 Tournament of Nations at CenturyLink Stadium in Seattle, WA and gave those on hand quite the show as they came together to complete a 1-1 draw. Yuka Momiki gave the Japanese the lead but another substitute, Camila, came in and spoiled the party with a spectacular goal for Brazil.
A lack of clinical finishing leaves both teams goal less at half-time
Though both teams play a different style of soccer, it's both pleasing to the eye and helps those teams create scoring opportunities for themselves if done right. That was most certainly the case all throughout the game and the only reason why it ended with just two goals was that neither side had their goal-scoring boots on. The game started quickly as Marta took the ball right from kick-off and sent in a cross to her strike partner, Ludmila, but she sent her header over the crossbar. Japan was then presented with a chance of their own in the sixth minute as Kumi Yokoyama timed her run well to beat the offside trap but she sent her shot wide of the goal with only Bárbara to beat.
Marta then began to take over the game after her back line had recovered from their early nerves. She had opportunities that on any other day,s he would have scored, in the 13th and 33rd minutes of the game but on both occasions, goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita was up to the task and kept the score at 0-0. Japan was always dangerous on the break and should have taken the lead in the 27th minute when Yui Hasegawa found some space in the box but she nodded her effort wide of the goal. The last chance of the half fell to Andressinha but as before with Marta, Yamashita was outstanding and tipped the ball over her goal to keep her clean sheet.
The substitutes come on and make a difference
The second half was more of the same as both teams created chances but lacked the ruthlessness in front of goal to put their side ahead. Marta and Debinha tried their luck and both times were unable to capitalize on the space they had been afforded in the box. They were punished for that carelessness in the 63rd minute when Momiki, who had come in for Hasegawa, was found by a peach of a cross from Ayumi Oya at the back post, and the substitute headed away from Bárbara's run to give Japan the lead. Emi Nakajima should have made it two in the 67th minute but her efforts were easy to repel for Brazil's goalkeeper and Brazil stayed within touching distance of the Japanese.
Late in the game, those missed chances came back to haunt the Japanese as Brazil began to search for an equalizer and found it when the Orlando Pride's Camila rocketed a shot into the top corner in the 87th minute, with Yamashita unable to get a touch on the fierce shot. It was no less than Brazil deserved although Japan will feel that they should have been out of sight by that time. Brazil will now go up against the United States of America in their next game while Japan will go up against fellow Asian Football Confederation rivals, Australia.