Sepp Blatter was around to see his fondest dream of seeing women playing in “tighter shorts”. Yes, he really did say that as a way of attracting more male spectators amongst many of his other pearls of wisdom.
The match underscored the importance of having a good goalie and in Miho Fukumoto, the Nadeshiko had theirs. She must have stopped at least a half dozen shots by the French who pressed hard in the second half.
At the other end the first goal scored by Yuki Ogimi came off a terrible goalkeeping error by Sarah Bouhaddi who made a meal holding onto the ball. The French goalie was also caught miserably out of position when Mizuho Sakaguchi headed the ball into the left hand corner following another set piece.
The French finally breached the compact Japanese defense as Eugenie Le Sommer operating on the left flank and a real thorn directed a cross past Fukumoto in the 75th minute. Two minutes later, the French had a golden chance to equalize when Le Sommer was brought down in the box but Elise Bussaglia with all her experience pushed the penalty just wide.
Its all working out according to plan. The USA meeting Japan in a highly anticipated rematch after last year’s World Cup loss.