A second-half blitzkrieg from Japan allowed the Nadeshiko to put five past a significantly weaker Myanmar side at the AFC Women's Asian Cup on Friday. Yui Hasegawa scored a brace while Riko Ueki, Hikaru Naomoto and Yui each contributed a goal in this Group C game at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex in Pune.
Japan started the game on a positive note as Mina Tanaka's header from a Shiori Miyake cross was wide in the very first minute of play.
The Nadeshiko kept testing the Myanmar defense in the early exchanges of the first half. Tanaka and Riko Ueki came close to scoring in the fourth and fifth minutes of play respectively but ultimately failed to find the back of the net.
Yui Hasegawa had three shots on goal saved while Tanaka's shot went wide in the next few minutes of play. Japan eventually managed to score the first goal of the game in the 22nd minute.
Hasegawa floated in a perfect cross to find Ueki in the box who headed it past Nwe May Zin to make it 1-0 for Japan. The defending champions kept the pressure on Myanmar for the rest of the first half but the latter didn't let any further goals in.
Japan scored three in the second half against Myanmar in the AFC Women's Asian Cup 2022
Japan scored their second goal in the 47th minute as Ueki found Hasegawa with a defense-splitting ball across the Myanmar backline. The West Ham United striker kept her calm and slotted past the Myanmar goalkeeper to make it 2-0 for Japan.
Hikaru Naomoto made it 3-0 for Japan with an exemplary finish from a set-piece situation from outside the box as Zin could only watch the ball sail past her. Yui Narumiya scored Japan's fourth of the day with an impeccable left-footed finish from the right side of the box to find the far corner of the Myanmar goal in the 70th minute.
Jun Endo set up Hasegawa for the fifth goal of the day as the latter slotted it past Zin in a one-vs-one situation.
The defending champions will next play Vietnam while Myanmar face South Korea on January 24 at the AFC Women's Asian Cup.
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