Sports games

Soccer champions Japan get off to a winning start as Australia crush Indonesia

Two-time defending champions Japan edged out Myanmar 5-0 in their Asian Women’s Cup opener in Pune on Friday, while joint favorites Australia beat Indonesia 18- 0. Chelsea striker Sam Kerr netted five times and Emily van Egmond netted four in Mumbai as Tony Gustavsson’s side showed no mercy to an inexperienced Indonesian side scoring the country’s first qualification for the final since 1989.

Ellie Carpenter, Kyah Simon and Hayley Raso picked up a brace while Caitlin Foord, Mary Fowler and Aivi Luik were also on the scoresheet as the 2018 finalists made an uncompromising start to life in Group B. Australia was drawn with the Philippines and Thailand, who will meet later on Friday.

Earlier today West Ham United midfielder Yui Hasegawa scored twice for Futoshi Ikeda’s side as Japan made light work of Myanmar in their opening Group game C. Riko Ueki put the champions ahead when she nodded into Hasegawa’s cross in the 22nd minute, but it wasn’t until the second minute of the second half before Japan doubled their advantage.

Hasegawa was released behind the Myanmar defense thanks to Ueki’s deft touch to drive home while Hikaru Naomoto’s curling free kick gave the Japanese a third five minutes later. Yui Narumiya struck the fourth from the edge of Myanmar’s penalty area and Hasegawa capped off a fine performance in stoppage time when she clipped the ball past keeper May Zin New.

Japan, who beat Australia in the final in 2014 and 2018, are joined in Group C by South Korea and Vietnam, with the duo set to play each other later on Friday. The 2022 edition of the Women’s Asia Cup has grown from eight to 12 nations and serves as Asia’s qualifier for next year’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Asia secured five automatic final berths in addition to Australia’s spot as co-hosts while two playoff berths are also available.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)