• Kyodo News


Japan took a big step toward qualifying for the Women’s World Cup on Saturday after beating Mexico 2-0 in the first leg of a playoff for this September’s finals in China.

Veteran midfielder Homare Sawa opened the scoring with a superb first-half header and set up Ai Miyama for the second to give “Nadeshiko Japan” a healthy advantage ahead of next week’s return leg in Toluca.

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