A goal at the death secured the Japan women’s foorball squad a 1-0 win against China in the finals in Palembang on Friday, and its second-ever Asian Games gold medal.
The goal, scored in the 90th minute by Yuika Sugasawa in the pouring rain at JSF Gelora Sriwijaya, crushed China’s hopes of winning a record fourth Asian Games women’s soccer title.
The shocking conditions left the teams struggling to string any coherent play together, but China managed to conjure the best chances.
A 75th-minute left-foot strike from Gu Yasha was China’s most promising foray forward, but Japan goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita got her fingertips to the shot and tipped it just over the bar.
(Japan’s Mana Iwabuchi, blue, shoots in the 2nd half)
The goal came on the break. With the Japanese team streaming forward, Sugasawa got on the end of a cross and hit a glancing header to the left of China’s goalkeeper Zhao Lina.
China’s silver is its first medal in women’s soccer since 2006.
South Korea won bronze by beating Taiwan 4-0 earlier on Friday.
All — Kyodo News+