PARCHAL, PORTUGAL – Mana Iwabuchi scored a first-half winner as women’s world champion and London Olympic silver medalist Japan beat Denmark 1-0 at the Algarve Cup on Friday.
Coach Norio Sasaki made eight changes to the team that drew 1-1 with the United States in its opening game on Wednesday, and 20-year-old Iwabuchi seized her chance with a goal, capping a fine run into the box by smashing home two minutes before halftime.
Denmark pressed for an equalizer but Nadeshiko Japan stood firm to pick up their first win.
“Space opened up and I just tried to smash the ball and am happy it went in,” said Iwabuchi.
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