The Nadeshiko were the better team in the first 45 minutes getting a number of chances with their quick interchanges. The USA relied a bit too much on Alex Morgan who was quite dangerous but there was no midfield presence to graft out scoring opportunities. In the 32nd minute Yukari Kinga put Japan ahead after Hope Solo was able to stop the first shot but off the rebound Kinga, the right back put the ball into the net.
The USA equalized in the 72 minute after Carli Lloyd's pass was sloppily cleared right into Morgan's path by a Japanese player and the in form striker made no mistake. At first the goal was ruled offside by the lineswoman but the referee adjudged correctly that the Japanese defender had kept Morgan onside.
The Kirin Cup is being contested by the USA, Germany, Japan, and Brazil. The Nadeshiko have yet to be beaten by the US since the Women's World Cup victory last year. Their last meeting at the Algarve Cup in early March also resulted in a win for Japan .