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Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 September 2007, 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK
Japan v England as it happened

By Ian Hughes

Japan Women 2-2 England Women

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    1449: GOAL Japan Women 2-2 England Women
    And how England are made to pay with the final kick of the match as Aya Miyama drives a superb effort into the top left corner to earn Japan a draw.

    1448: More danger for England as they concede a free-kick in a central position.

    1447: It is almost a nightmare two minutes for Rachel Brown as she kicks the ball straight out to a Japanese player but England manage to put in a challenge and clear the danger.

    1445: Rachel Brown takes a clattering as Eriko Arakawa appears to kick out as she makes a sliding challenge on the England keeper.

    1444: Alex Scott hobbles off and Lindsay Johnson comes on to fill in at right-back.

    1442: According to the stats, Japan have had 52% of the possession. It matters little - as long as England stay in the lead.

    1439: GOAL Japan Women 1-2 England Women
    And it's that woman again as Kelly Smith turns around England's fortunes, smashing home the rebound from her initial shot. Both boots come off this time and everyone seems to pucker up!

    1436: GOAL Japan Women 1-1 England Women
    Finally, Kelly Smith - who is easily the best player on the pitch - shows how to finish as she turns and slots the ball into the bottom corner. She takes off her boot and kisses it by way of celebration.

    1434: Eriko Arakawa shows good control to fashion a shooting chance but then ruins her good work with a terrible shot. Luckily for England, Japan are almost equally inept in front of goal.

    1432: Kelly Smith sets up Fara Williams, but she sidefoots the ball off target.

    1429: Karen Carney is tripped on the right edge of the box. England take the opportunity to replace Eniola Aluko with Jill Scott. A change of personnel, but England get no change from the Japan defence as they deal with the free-kick into the box.

    1427: Jill Scott is warming up on the touchline as England prepare to make a change.

    1426: Karen Carney tries her luck from distance, but it is another weak effort from England.

    1424: Absolutely shocking finishing from Rachel Yankey. Totally free at the back post she fails to head England level, and there will not be an easier chance all game.

    1422: Forget what I said earlier, Japan are now definitely on the back foot. England seem to have recovered from their shock but they are lacking composure in front of goal.

    1421: It just will not go in for England as Hiromi Isozaki somehow manages to head Eniola Aluko's effort off the line.

    1418: But that goal should have gone to England as suddenly they find some inspiration. First Karen Carney blasts an effort straight at Fukumoto before Kelly Smith's strike whistles narrowly past the post.

    1416: Since their goal, Japan have assumed control of the game. They look confident, while England look shaken, and another goal could be on the cards.

    1412: England look to respond immediately but Kelly Smith's shot from inside the penalty area is blocked.

    1410: GOAL Japan Women 1-0 England Women
    Katie Chapman commits a foul just outside her penalty area. And she is punished by a great strike by Aya Miyama, who smashes in a curling shot beyond Rachel Brown's dive.

    1407: On the ground it's a different story and Karen Carney causes havoc on the left wing before crossing the ball into the box, but unfortunately it evades her England team-mates.

    1406: Despite their height advantage. England are finding it impossible to dominate in the air. Two corners in succession are comfortably cleared by the Japan defence.

    1403: Fara Williams almost opens the scoring, but Fukumoto dives to her right to beat away the goalbound shot. How England would love to be facing the Argentine keeper instead.

    1400: The players emerge for the second half. And England get the game restarted. Hopefully there might be some goalmouth action in the next 45 minutes.

    1346: However, BBC pundit Gavin Peacock is waxing lyrical over the Japanese players' passing, movement and technical ability. So perhaps credit should go to England's opposition.

    1345: That's half-time. No goals - so at least Mr Blatter will be happier. Not the rest of us though. Come on England, you can do better than that.

    1342: Eniola Aluko is seeing plenty of the ball but not making the right choices when she has it. Another pass goes astray as she attempts to pick out a colleague with a cross into the box.

    1338: Japan goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto races out of her penalty area and misses her clearance, leaving Eniola Aluko with an open goal. But the England player's shot misses the target and the best chance of the game goes begging.

    1337: Karen Carney whips in a dangerous ball but once again the Japan defence holds firm. And they also deal comfortably with the resultant corner.

    1332: Mary Phillip shepherds the ball out for a goalkick under pressure from Eriko Arakawa. Neither side are really creating much of note.

    1327: A last-ditch tackle by Nayuha Toyoda scrambles the ball from Kelly Smith's feet as she attempts to connect with a low cross.

    1324: Not a massive amount of quality on show at the moment. As typified by Aya Miyama's shot from the edge of the box, which balloons high and wide. If Germany's win yesterday is anything to go by, the shots just need to be on target.

    1322: Katie Chapman's name goes in the referee's book after she delivers a robust challenge.

    1321: Karen Carney looks to be tugged back and prevented from reaching Kelly Smith's defence-splitting pass. The referee gives nothing.

    1317: Superb footwork and vision from Kelly Smith - already looking a class apart - gives Eniola Aluko a chance to pull the trigger. She fires a blank though - her shot has the pace of a sloth on a go-slow.

    1314: Rachel Yankey shows tremendous pace and bursts past two defenders. but the England move breaks down as the Japan midfield gets back to clear. Shortly after, Kelly Smith gets her first sight of goal after working some space but drags her shot wide.

    1311: Eniola Aluko wins the ball in a dangerous area but she and striker Kelly Smith are closed out by their markers as they fail to capitalise on their position.

    1307: Japan launch a free-kick into the box, aiming for the head of Eriko Arakawa. With her 70's disco afro hair, she's a target difficult to miss. But the ball does not reach her this time.

    1303: Eriko Arakawa toe-pokes the ball goalwards as Japan threaten for the first time. England goalkeeper Rachel Brown confidently watches the ball drift wide.

    1301: England are immediately on the attack - and roared on by the bulk of the crowd.

    1300: We're under way in Shanghai as Japan get the ball rolling.

    1255: The Japanese players look determined, although a little nervy - and have their hands on their hearts - as their national anthem rings out. Now it's England's turn and they all appear to be in fine voice.

    1250: However, one man who will be keeping his fingers crossed that England do not emulate Germany is Fifa president Sepp Blatter.

    Of Germany's victory, he admitted: "I did not like this result. When it is the opening match, the result of 11-0, and the team conceding 11 goals is the reigning champion in South America, this is not good."

    1230: Good afternoon all, and welcome to the second day of the Women's World Cup in China - and the opening day of England's campaign.

    Can Hope Powell's side send out a message to Group A rivals Germany, who crashed in 11 goals without reply against Argentina yesterday?

    They have support from the men - with England coach Steve McClaren declaring: "It's a great achievement for them to get to the World Cup.

    "But they are not there just to make up the numbers. It's important they get off to a good start and I'm sure they will."

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