Tokyo – The Japanese kicked off their Women’s Olympic Football campaign with a 1-1 draw against Canada in their opening contest of the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 (in 2021) on 21 July.
After a year’s delay, the women’s football tournament finally began at the Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido, and it could have gone better for the host nation, which is aiming for gold.
Japan’s Nadeshiko — the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champions — had gone into the game as favourites after a warm-up run of good form ahead of Tokyo 2020.
But just six minutes after kick-off, Canada’s veteran captain Christine Sinclair, who is the all-time leading international scorer for men or women, blasted her 187th career goal past Japan’s IKEDA Sakiko after the ball rebounded off the post. The goal came in 38-year-old Sinclair’s 300th appearance with the Canadian national team.
Canada continued to attack and, by half-time, they’d had had more than 60 per cent of the possession. The London 2012 and Rio 2016 bronze medalists, led by coach Bev Priestman, aim to upgrade to gold with Sinclair making her fourth and final Olympic appearance.