Japan strikes late but still falls to Brazil during U.S. tourney

Kyodo, AP

Nadeshiko Japan lost to Brazil 2-1 in the Tournament of Nations on Sunday, suffering their second-straight defeat in the round-robin competition that features four of the world’s top women’s soccer teams.

Rika Masuya scored for Japan with a spectacular diving header in the 93rd minute at Rentschler Field, but it was too late to stop Brazil from taking all three points.

Marta opened the scoring for the South Americans in the 76th minute, beating Japan goalkeeper Sakiko Ikeda from the left side of the penalty area.

Substitute Raquel provided the assist as Beatriz doubled the lead for the seventh-ranked Brazilians in the final minute of normal time.

World No. 6 Japan opened the tournament with a 4-2 loss against the No. 1-ranked United States in Kansas City last Thursday and will face Australia in its final match on Thursday.

In the day’s other contest Lindsey Horan scored in the 90th minute to give the U.S. a 1-1 draw with Australia. The result put the U.S. and Australia atop the tournament standings with four points apiece.

“These are the kind of games we’re going to see into qualifying and obviously going in to the World Cup next year,” Megan Rapinoe said. “I mean, I love these games. I wish obviously that we would have won, but (it was) a competitive environment, great stadium tonight. It was a good match for us, good in a lot of ways, good performance and good preparing us going forward.”