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Japan end skid with 3-0 SheBelieves Cup win over Canada

Japan end skid with 3-0 SheBelieves Cup win over Canada

February 22, 2023 (AFP)

Japan snapped a four-match losing streak with a 3-0 victory over Olympic champions Canada in their closing match of the SheBelieves Cup on Wednesday.

The Japanese, who had failed to score in defeats to the United States and Brazil in their first two matches of the women's international football tournament, broke out in a big way with goals from Kiko Seike, Yui Hasegawa and Jun Endo.

The top-ranked United States, preparing to defend their crown in July's Women's World Cup in New Zealand and Australia, faced Brazil in the nightcap at Toyota Stadium and were in pole position to win the tournament for a fourth straight year and sixth time overall.

The USA followed up an opening triumph over Canada with a 1-0 victory over Japan in Nashville on Sunday.

For Canada, it was a disappointing end to a turbulent tournament, played amid their ongoing dispute with their federation over pay and conditions in which they are demanding parity with the men's team.

They had bounced back from their opening defeat to the USA with a 2-0 win over Brazil and had come into Wednesday's match second in the standings.

But Japan, who had lost their last four matches -- including defeats to England and Spain in November -- finally found their finishing touch.

Seiki fired Japan ahead in the 26th minute, slotting a right-footed shot into the heart of the goal after a cross from Rikako Kobayashi.

Canadian keeper Sabrina D'Angelo, who was given the start in place of Kailen Sheridan, was injured trying to make the save and Sheridan replaced her in goal.

Japan doubled their lead in the 41st minute when Hasegawa converted a penalty after Kadeisha Buchanan's clumsy tackle of Endo.

Endo put it out of reach in the 77th minute with a left-footed shot from the left side of the penalty area.

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