Norway 0-1 Japan
Norway's build-up to this year's FIFA Women's World Cup got off to a bad start as, on Solveig Gulbrandsen's 100th international appearance, they slipped to defeat against Japan in Cyprus.
The 26-year-old Norwegian midfielder brought up her century of caps nine years after making her debut against Germany, although it was Shinobu Ohno who stole the headlines. The Japanese attacking midfielder scored the only goal of the game in the 21st minute when her intended cross flew over Norwegian goalkeeper Bente Nordby's head and into the back of net. Norway were unable to create much in the way of clear goalscoring opportunities in the opening 45 minutes but after the break they produced several chances, hitting the post and having the ball cleared off the line.
"We didn't play well before the break, but got our act together in the second half," said Norway's assistant coach Pål Arne Johansen. "We should focus on the positives. The team gelled well in the first half, especially when you consider how early in the season this was."
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