England stay top as Argentina hold Japan in Women's World Cup
Women's World Cup 2019, Group D, Parc des Princes - Argentina 0 Japan 0
Japan's bid for a second World Cup triumph got off to a frustrating start as Argentina claimed a surprise 0-0 draw in Group D.
Asako Takakura's side dominated possession but rarely troubled Vanina Correa in the Albiceleste goal and the South Americans were well worth their first ever point in this competition.
Carlos Borrello's team, who were making their first appearance at the tournament in 12 years, produced a hard-working defensive display and restricted the 2015 finalists to just two shots on target.
The result means England top the pool with three points after one game played. Japan and Argentina have a point apiece while Scotland are yet to get off the mark.
Next up, Argentina face England while Japan meet Scotland on Friday.
Japan fail to make an impression. Japan have the second youngest side in the competition and a good mix of fledgling talent and experience. They remain a team who move the ball well with some eye-catching technicians. However, the pre-tournament concerns regarding a lack of real cutting edge were highly evident against an opponent 30 places below them in the world rankings. The Japanese have high hopes of going one better than 2015 and emulating the heroes that won it in 2011, but they are some way of achieving that on this evidence. Indeed, they will need to do far more in the final third. This was a real shock result given Argentina's status and past history in the competition, and England and Scotland will be delighted by the outcome. They will also take note of how well organised the Albiceleste are and that they can take nothing for granted in what looks to be a very competitive group.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Aldana Cometti (Argentina). Imperious at the back, but in truth, you could take your pick from any of the Argentina back-line. They were well organised throughout, read the game perfectly and repelled pretty much everything Japan threw at them.
ARGENTINA: Correa 7, Gomez 8, Stabile 8, Barroso 8, Cometti 8, Benitez 7, Bravo 6, Mayorga 7, Banini 8, Bonsegundo 7, Sole Jaimes 6. Subs: Santana 6, Larroquette 6, Coronel 6.
JAPAN: Yamashita 6, Shimizu 7, Sameshima 7, Minami 6, Kumagai 6, Sugita 6, Miura 6, Hasegawa 7, Nakajima 6, Sugasawa 6, Yokoyama 6. Subs: Iwabuchi 6, Endo 6, Takarada n/a.
50' - JAPAN CHANCE! Yokoyama's speculative long-range drive is spilled by Correa into the path of Sugasawa, who can only flash the rebound over the bar from a narrow angle.
56' - JAPAN CHANCE! Shimizu raids down the right once more. She cuts it back for Hasegawa, who miscues a gilt-edged chance wide of target from just 12 yards out.
73' - ARGENTINA CHANCE! Gomez's attempted through ball is diverted into the path of Bonsegundo by a Japanese boot. The Argentine moves the ball out of her feet on the right of the box but can't find the finish and fires a tame effort straight at Yamashita.
Argentina avoided defeat for the first time in a WWC match. They'd lost each of their previous six in the competition, shipping 33 goals in the process.
This was only the seventh 0-0 draw in the history of the WWC.