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Sawa wary of Olympic opponents

Kyodo

Women’s World Player of the Year Homare Sawa agrees with what her coach Norio Sasaki said following Tuesday’s Olympic soccer draw in London: the first match is important, especially as it is against Canada.

“The first match is always important in any tournament, so I hope we can play well, win and pick up momentum,” Sawa told reporters Wednesday in Hyogo Prefecture.

The 2011 World Cup-winning team will play Canada on July 25 and Sweden three days later, both games taking place in Coventry, before wrapping up its Group F campaign with a match against South Africa on July 31.

Only three days ago, Sawa returned to the pitch for the first time in almost two months in the Nadeshiko League after being sidelined with vertigo.

As for Sweden, Sawa said, “Swedish players are tall and quick. There are players up front who can keep the ball.”