• Kyodo


Former women’s world champion Japan defeated the Netherlands 1-0 away in an international friendly on Friday night.

Three minutes after coming off the bench, Kumi Yokoyama struck what proved to be the winner in the second half and Asako Takakura’s side withstood a late onslaught to claim the win.

“We won the game while trying out various things so we can take something from that,” said Takakura, who has a record of four wins, four losses and a draw since taking over as head coach from Norio Sasaki.

“We were put on the back foot late on but stood firm and, in seeing out the game, cleared the biggest hurdle this team has been working to overcome.”

Japan plays Belgium in the second game of its tour of the Low Countries on Tuesday.

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