It was a wet and windy day at Parchal for this game. A strong and gusting wind plus short, sharp and fairly icy showers made things a little difficult for both teams.
A small crowd braved the elements.
Japan started off at a furious pace, which they maintained for most of the match. They were rewarded with two goals in the first 15 minutes, which turned out to be the only scores.
Both goals were scored by Yui Hasegawa. The first was with a long range shot from all of 30 metres that Iceland’s ‘keeper, who was way off her line, misjudged. It sailed over her head into the net. Watch the goal – http://www.womenssoccerunited.com/day-2-algarve-cup-2017/ scroll down to 16:06
The second came after a good sprawling save by the same ‘keeper, the ball spilled loose, defenders were slow to react, the ball came into Hasegawa for an easy tap-in.
Japan were zipping nimbly around, playing a short passing game that had the Icelandic defenders chasing shadows half the time. A couple of them looked very slow indeed. At the other end, Iceland’s strikers managed not one shot on goal during the first half.
It was more of the same in the second half. Despite Iceland playing five up front at times, they managed to force only a couple of half chances. Japan were content to soak up the pressure and did have one really good opportunity to increase their lead, but the Iceland goalie was up to the task and saved well.
The game drifted towards its end among the usual mass of subsitutions and a lot of bad language from the (male) Iceland coach. The rain was hammering down at the final whistle and continued to do so while I walked back to Ferragudo station.
Some pictures below. I couldn’t get the big camera to work. I think it may be on the way to camera heaven.
Sara Björk Gunnarsdottir received her 100th cap for Iceland today
It was from this save that Hasegawa (number 17) scored her second. Sorry for picture quality! Observe lack of white shirted defenders.
Almost a third for Japan
A rare bit of sunshine during the game!
A rare attacking threat from Iceland, blotted out by massed defence.
Japan defend en masse
Don’t see this at football grounds these days! He was German, from Potsdam.
Fan with wooden rattle
The stadium dog befriended the man with the rattle and his mate. A cry of ‘hilfe’ was heard as the dog obviously thought his luck was in.