We bring to you the ball to ball action of the Group C clash, Japan vs Zambia. Japan have won the World Cup before but their World Cup campaigns in recent years have been pretty disappointing according to their standards, so they would look to get back in the game with the other big teams. Meanwhile, Zambia is prepared to make their World Cup debut in Australia and New Zealand at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023.
Kick‑off: 12:30 (IST)
Date: 22 July 2023
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton , New Zealand.
Referee: Tess Olofsson
Assistant referee 1: Lucie Ratajova
Assistant referee 2: Polyxeni Irodotou
Fourth official: Anahi Fernandez
Video assistant referee: Massimiliano Irrati
Assistant VAR: Salome Di
Offside VAR: Iorio
First Half Begins
Here we go, Japan vs Zambia is underway!
6'| Chance missed by Japan
A left footed by Japan's Mina Tanaka from the left side of the box misses the goal by a whisker.
10'| Bar came to Zambia's rescue
Aoba Fujino's bangs one from outside of the box, only to see the ball hit the woodwork, Catherine Musonda was beaten completely.
15'| Japan continues to attack
The Japanese women are playing some nice football and keeping the Zambia defenders on toe with an array of attacks from the both side of the pitch.
18'| Corner for Japan
Margaret Belemu stop an attack
20'| Mina Tanaka scores from JAPAN! (ZAM 0-1 JAP)
The Japanese striker has scored from close distance with the help of a well driven free kick from the right side of the ball. But VAR is taking a look for possible Offside.
22'| Offside! Goal overturned (ZAM 0-0 JAP)
After a brief look at the VAR screen, Tess Olofsson comes to Zambia's rescue and overturns the goal by calling it Offside.
29'| Another chance goes begging
A nicely driven low pass by Jun Endo from the right flank couldn't find Mina Tanaka's foot and Zambia's goalkeeper collects the ball with ease.
36'| More concern for Zambia
Lushomo Mweemba takes a knock on her feet and is out with the physio, Zambia playing with 10 players at the moment.
39'| Catherine Musonda keeps Zambia in the Game
A right footed shot by Fuka Nagano got deflected and Musonda showed great agility and stopped the dipping ball from going inside the goal
43′ | Japan scores! (ZAM 0-1 JAP)
Japan puts the ball for the second time in Zambia's net and this time its gonna count. A beautiful team move finished beautifully by Hinata Miyazawa with the help of a beautiful low cross by Aoba Fujino.
6 minutes of added time announced
Japan has dominated most parts of the game and deserved to be in the lead against an inexperienced Zambian team. The Asian team could've added more goals to their tally but Catherine Musonda acted as the Great Wall of Zambia and one goal was disallowed due to Offside. Zambia would look to create more opportunities in the second half and play with more confidence and Japan would look to build on this lead.
Second Half begins
Will Zambia be able to make a comeback or is Japan gonna extend their lead? Stay tuned to watch the second half.
49′| Japan scores their second! (ZAM 0-2 JAP)
Mina Tanaka scored an amazing goal while showing good composure but VAR is taking a look at the goal because it could be a possible Offside.
50'| Offside! Goal overturned (ZAM 0-1 JAP)
For the second time this evening Mina Tanaka is denied a goal due to being Offside, Zambia survives.
52'| Penalty for Japan overturned
Catherine Musonda came out of the box and couldn't get hold of the ball and gifts Japan a penalty and received a yellow card for her challenge. But VAR had a look at it and found out that it was a Offside so penalty evoked.
55'| Mina Tanaka finally scores! (ZAM 0-2 JAP )
Mina Tanaka finally lodged her name in the scoresheet with the help of Jun Endo's beautifully waited pass from the right side of the pitch.
62'| Japan scores again! (ZAM 0-3 JAP)
Hinata Miyazawa scores her second goal of the match with an easy tap in and Japan is cruising towards a big victory in the first match of their tournament.
66'| Substitution for Japan
Riko Ueki replaces Mina Tanaka
71'| Fourth goal for Japan! (ZAM 0-4 JAP)
Jun Endo scores her first goal of this tournament with a cool mind and placed the ball in the far corner of the net and gives Japan a 4-0 lead.
72'| Substitution for Zambia
Ochumba Lubandji and Avell Chitundu replaces Ireen Lungu and Siomala Mapepa respectively.
75'| Japan on the attack again
Zambia experience an array of Japanese attack but still survives and restricts the scoreline to 4-0.
77'| Substitution for Japan
Hikaru Naomoto and Kiko Seike replaces Aoba Fujino and Jun Endo respectively.
82'| Substitution for Zambia
Vast Phiri replaces Lushomo Mweemba due to injury.
88'| Zambia enjoying some possession
Zambia is trying to go forward with the ball in order to create something but Japan is not giving them any chance whatsoever.
7 minutes of added time announced
90'+7'| Penalty awarded to Japan
Catherine Musonda picked up her second yellow card in order to stop Japan from scoring their fifth goal but in the process awarded a penalty.
90'+9'| Substitution for Zambia
Eunice Sakala replaces Avell Chitundu
90'+11'| Penalty missed by Riko Ueki
The Zambia goalkeeper saves the powerful shot of Riko Ueki but with an element of possible encroachment of penalty, VAR is taking a look into it.
90'+11'| Riko Ueki scores this time! (ZAM 0-5 JAP)
After VAR intervention, Riko Ueki got the chance of taking the penalty again but to Encroachment of goal by the goalkeeper, the first time and this time he converts her penalty with a cool composed finish.
Japan have asserted their dominance over Zambia in a fairly one sided game. Zambia didn't have any answers to Japan's gameplay and was just feeling helpless in the middle of the pitch. Futoshi Ikeda have played a major role in Japan's change of attitude and it was shown in the match. They didn't stop running until the very end and that reflected their mindset of being the best team in the world. As for Zambia, it wouldn't get any easier for them as they've to face Spain in the next match. An amazing start to the tournament for Japan as they cruise past Zambia by 5 goals to nil.