Having seen their Friday opponents Germany produce a competition record 11-0 victory against Argentina in the opening Group A match yesterday, England knew a loss against World Cup ever-presents Japan in Shanghai would be costly. Hope Powell's team had the better of the play, but were unable to force the ball in and were made to pay in the 55th minute when Miyama's free-kick deflected off the head of Katie Chapman and beyond the grasp of England goalkeeper Rachel Brown.
Chance after chance went begging for England but with nine minutes left the equaliser finally arrived when Smith forced her way through the Japan defence and struck into the bottom right-hand corner. Only two minutes later the Arsenal LFC player did it again, shooting in on the rebound after an initial effort was blocked by keeper Miho Fukumoto. But just as it seemed victory was secure Niyama produced another super set-piece deep into injury time. Smith said: "We were so close; they scored with the last kick of the game. Devastating for us but we showed a lot of character coming back from two goals behind."
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