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Japan hand Super Falcons fifth consecutive defeat

Japan got the better of the Super Falcons today in Kobe, defeating the Nigerians 2-0 in a high-profile friendly match.

Mina Tanaka scored both goals as the 2011 world champions recorded their fourth straight win over the nine-time African champions.

The Bayer Leverkusen forward netted both goals in the second half after a goalless first period.

The Super Falcons, ranked 46th in the world by FIFA, stood up to the 11th-ranked Japanese in the opening half, withstanding pressure and creating chances of their own.

Japan finally got the breakthrough in the 64th minute when Tanaka profited from slack defending, and she made it 2-0 four minutes later after a controversial penalty was awarded to the hosts at the Noevir Stadium.

The Japanese forward was offside before minimal contact was made by a Super Falcons defender in the Nigerian box, but the referee pointed to the spot.

Since there was no Video Assistant Referee in play, the decision was not reviewed and Tanaka sent goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie the wrong way.

Both teams are preparing for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and the Super Falcons are on a worrying streak of five straight defeats, starting from the loss to Morocco in the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals in Morocco in July.

Since beating Cameroon in the WAFCON quarter-finals on July 4, the Super Falcons have lost to Morocco, Zambia, United States of America twice and now to Japan.

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Naija Times