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Thursday, September 28, 2023

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: First half red card helps Japan to routine victory over Tanzania

It was a rough debut for Tanzania at the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup on Wednesday with the East African side falling 4-0 to a strong Japan side to start off their campaign in India. Japan dominated from the early stages against a brave Tanzanian defense, who did admirably to hold out despite Neema Kinega’s red card in the opening twenty minutes. However, a 33rd minute strike from Uno Shiragaki gave way to a dominant second half for the Japanese highlighted by Mao Itamura’s sublime dribbling run and finish.

Tanzania and goalkeeper Zulfa Makau were under siege from the opening minutes with Makau needing to make several sprawling saves. Life became more difficult for the Tanzanian defense after Kinega’s overzealous challenge in the midfield led to a Video Assistant Referee review that saw Kinega sent off with a straight red card in the 20th minute. Thirteen minutes later it was Shiragaki who side footed a first-time finish past Makau from ten yards out after receiving a low cross.

Makau kept her side in the match with some brave goalkeeping but the wheels fell off for Tanzania starting in the 67th minute when Itamura swept through the Tanzanian defense on the dribble from the left wing before firing past Makau. Goals from Ai Tsujisawa and Momoko Tanikawa followed soon after to complete the dominant victory for Japan.

Highlights of the match are below. Tanzania will face France next in Group D play before finishing up against Canada.