• Kyodo


Japan’s hopes of breaking its winless jinx against the United States was shattered Monday night with a 4-2 defeat to the defending Olympic champion in the women’s soccer semifinals at the Beijing Games.

Shinobu Ono gave Japan a 16th-minute lead, but an Angela Hucles double helped extend the Americans’ unbeaten record against the Japanese to 21 matches and book a date in the final with Brazil, 4-1 winners over Germany in the other semifinal.

Japan and world champion Germany meet in the bronze medal match on Thursday.

“Although we made some mistakes we still kept trying to get goals back in the second half and I think our performance can give us encouragement for the next game,” said Japan coach Norio Sasaki.

“We lost to Germany at the last World Cup and now we have to regroup and change our mind-set. We must be happy that we have one more match to fight in and we will try and win.”

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