Professional women’s soccer arrived in Tokyo on Sunday afternoon as Yuzuho Shiokoshi’s late goal drove Urawa Reds to a 2-1 win over Tokyo Verdy Beleza in both teams’ WE League season opener at Ajinomoto Field Nishigaoka.

The marquee matchup between Beleza, the most successful women’s team in Japan with 17 first-division titles, and reigning first-division champion Urawa was a suitable curtain-raiser in the capital for the WE League, which is aiming to raise the level of the women’s game in Japan.

“Any match against Beleza is a big occasion,” Urawa manager Naoki Kusunose said. “More than winning or losing, I thought it was really a good game. Both sides fought until the end. I think it was a good match to start the season.”