My personal blog on Scottish Women's Football
Yuki Ogimi 5
Ecuador named two changes from the team that had lost to Switzerland, with Erika Vasquez and Ligia Moreira replacing Ana Palacios and Mabel Velarde as they moved to a more defensive 5-4-1 formation.
Japan made seven changes to rest players for the Last 16. Miho Fukumoto replaced Ayumi Kaihori in goal. Saori Ariyoshi, Kana Kitahara and Yuri Kawamura replaced Yukari Kinga, Azusa Iwashimizu and Saki Kumagai in defence. Shinobu Ohno, Homare Sawa and Asuna Tanaka replaced Nahomi Kawasumi, Mizuho Sakaguchi and Rumi Utsugi in midfield.
Japan created the first chance of the game. A short corner was played to Aya Miyama, whose inswinging cross found Kana Kitahara at the far post, but she headed wide.
And then the World Champions took the lead. Miyama launched her deep cross into the box, which the keeper Shirley Berruz and striker Yuika Sugasawa challenged for. But the ball landed to Yuki Ogimi who, despite strong pressure from Angie Ponce, fired the ball into the net.
They could have doubled their lead when Saori Ariyoshi’s cross picked out Ogimi, but her header was kept out by a wondrous save from Berruz as she dived to her right to claw the ball away from the line.
Ecuador nearly created a great chance early in the second half. Determined work from Monica Quinteros allowed her to make the room to play a ball into the box, which nearly picked out Kerlly Real, but she was stopped by Megumi Nagasato’s superb sliding tackle.
Then Sugasawa picked out Ariyoshi whose 20-yard driven shot just went wide of the near post.
In the closing moments, Japan nearly scored a wonderfully worked goal. Mana Iwabuchi played the ball to Ogimi who at the byline, backheeled the ball back to Iwabuchi who was denied by a superb Berruz save at the near post. The Ecuador bench celebrated that save like they had just won the game.
Aya Miyama – Japan
Ecuador: (5-4-1) Shirley Berruz, Ingrid Rodriguez, Katherine Ortiz, Nancy Aguilar, Ligia Moreira (c), Angie Ponce, Kerlly Real, Denise Pesantes, Mayra Olvera, Erika Vasquez (Madelin Riera 90), Monica Quinteros (Carina Caicedo 83).
Booked: Erika Vasquez 39, Nancy Aguilar 52.
Japan: (4-4-2) Miho Fukumoto, Saori Ariyoshi, Kana Kitahara (Megumi Kamionobe HT), Yuri Kawamura, Aya Sameshima, Shinobu Ohno (Asano Nagasato 75), Homare Sawa, Asuna Tanaka, Aya Miyama (c), Yuki Ogimi, Yuika Sugasawa (Mana Iwabuchi 80).
Goals: Yuki Ogimi 5.
Booked: Shinobu Ohno 17.