England 4-0 Japan - Women's International Match Centre
- R. Daly (38′)
- C. Kelly (53′)
- E. Toone (77′)
- J. Park (90′)
The Lionesses pick up an impressive victory at the Pinatar Arena
Highlights: England 4-0 Japan
Watch the best of the action from the Pinatar Area in England's penultimate game of 2022
England v Japan
Women's International Game
7pm GMT, Friday 11 November 2022
Pinatar Arena, Murcia, Spain
Lionesses head coach Sarina Wiegman spoke to media ahead of her team's game with Japan, which she expects will prove to be a good test for the squad.
With a number of the squad's more experienced players having been ruled out of the match, it will provide an opportunity for others and that's something Wiegman and her staff are keen to exploit.
"For us, it's a chance for other players to come into the team and we can see where they're at compared to people who have been in the team for a long time," she said.
"It's not the World Cup yet, so it's good preparation to see how other players can do.
"We want to take the team to the next level, and individuals to the next level and of course they can do that themselves, but some players are knocking on the door too.
"We have a lot of depth and we want to develop the style of play and help the players to develop too so these two games will give us a lot of information on where we're at.
"We know Japan are very quick and technical, they've done this historically very well.
"So we have to be tight on the ball and get our shape right, then we can defend well as a team and play our game.
"It will be a technical game and different to what we've played in the last monthss so it's good to get a team like Japan across to see where we're at."
England and Bayern Munich midfielder Georgia Stanway is also looking forward to the test in store against a team who the Lionesses last faced at the 2020 SheBelieves Cup in the USA.
"We're enjoying ourselves, being back on the grass together and obviously we've got two tough games ahead," said Stanway.
"Japan are technically unbelievable, they're almost like Spain in the way they pop the ball and the way they move.
"Potentially we might have the upper hand physically, but I think it's going to be a very good game.
"It's another tough opposition and it's just nice to be enjoying some good weather, playing against top teams and seeing what they're all about."
Ahead of the game, check out some of the facts and stats courtesy of Opta...
● England and Japan have met on eight previous occasions in all competitions, with the Lionesses avoiding defeat in seven of those clashes (W5 D2) and winning each of the last three in a row.
● Japan’s only victory against England came back in July 2015 in the World Cup semi-final, winning 2-1 and progressing to the final in the process (lost 5-2 vs USA in the Final).
● England have now played 24 matches under manager Sarina Wiegman and remain undefeated under the Dutchwoman (W21 D3) – scoring 120 goals (5 per game) and conceding just six (0.3 per game) in the process. The last side to defeat England were Canada in April 2021 when Hege Riise was in charge of the Lionesses.
● England have won all six of their matches played outside of the United Kingdom under Sarina Wiegman by an aggregate score of 41-0.
● Japan have gone unbeaten in each of their last 13 games in all competitions (W9 D4), since a 2-0 defeat to Iceland in November 2021 in a friendly match. Indeed, Japan have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three matches in a row.
● Beth Mead has scored 29 goals in all competitions for England, 12 more than any other member of the latest Lionesses’ squad. Indeed, Mead has been directly involved in 37 goals in 23 appearances under Sarina Wiegman (21 goals, 16 assists), 13 more than any other teammate.
● There are four players in Japan’s latest international squad that play in the Barclays Women’s Super League (Mana Iwabuchi, Yui Hasegawa, Risa Shimizu and Honoka Hayashi), with Arsenal’s Mana Iwabuchi making the most BWSL appearances amongst those four (25 apps, 3 goals, 2 assists).
Highlights: Japan 0-3 England
Watch the best of the action as the Lionesses beat Japan at the SheBelieves Cup in 2019
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Rachel Daly put the Lionesses ahead seven minutes before the break, pouncing on Japan’s failure to clear Chloe Kelly’s cross to slot home from close range.
Kelly then turned scorer, slamming home a Beth Mead cross at the back post eight minutes after the restart to put England in full control.
And Ella Toone put the gloss on an impressive showing from the European Champions, finishing off a flowing move with a superb, dinked finish before Jess Park completed the scoring just seconds into her debut at the death.
The scoreline was reflective of a dominant display from England in Murcia, with the Lionesses setting their stall from the outset with a strong start.
Toone took just two minutes to call Japanese ‘keeper Ayaka Yamashita into action, firing at goal from outside the box and forcing an early save.
And it was Toone who would have the next chance after eleven minutes, with Kelly charging down the left after being set free by Niamh Charles, before crossing to find Toone who couldn’t find the right connection to trouble Yamashita.
After a slow start, Japan began to edge their way into the game and Yui Hasegawa then had her side’s first real sight of goal, firing from just outside the box and forcing Earps into her first save of the night, a comfortable one at her near post.
England soon reasserted their authority on proceedings, with Alessia Russo clipping the post with a header from close range after yet more good work by Kelly down the left to whip in a cross.
It was then Mead’s turn to be denied, this time by Yamashita with a terrific save low to her right after the Arsenal forward had looked to slide a shot past her after being played in by Toone.
Hina Sugita was caught in possession in the box and disposed by Mead, who redirected the ball into the path of Daly, who finished ruthlessly from close range.
It sent England in 1-0 ahead at the break, and the Lionesses started the second half as they had finished the first, with Toone denied by a last-ditch challenge just six minutes after the restart.
Just two minutes later, England had their second, Kelly smashing home at the back post after Mead had raced clear down the right and crossed into the box.
The Lionesses were in full control by this stage, with Sarina Wiegman introducing youngsters Ebony Salmon and Lauren James into proceedings.
And they were instrumental in England’s third, Salmon producing an outstanding reverse pass to feed Toone in the box who dinked past Yamashita to cap a fine flowing move and grab a deserved goal.
The gloss was put on an excellent performance with the time ticking away, as substitute Park netted just seconds into her first appearance, tapping home after excellent work by Salmon to drive into the box and square to give the Everton loanee the simplest of finishes.
Substitutes: 12 Lauren James (Chelsea) for Kelly 64’, 19 Ebony Salmon (Houston Dash) for Russo 64’, 17 Nikita Parris (Manchester United) for Toone, 18 Jess Park (Everton on loan from Manchester City) for Stanway 89’, 14 Katie Zelem (Manchester United) for Walsh
Substitutes not used: 13 Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City), 15 Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal), 16 Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United), 20 Katie Robinson (Brighton & Hove Albion), 21 Sandy MacIver (Manchester City) 22 Gabby George (Everton)
Goals: Daly 38’, Kelly 53’, Toone 78’, Park 90’
Japan (5-3-2): 1 Ayaka Yamashita 2 Risa Shimizu 3 Moeka Minami 4 Saki Kumagai 5 Shiori Miyake 6 Fuka Nagano 7 Hinata Miyazawa 10 Mana Iwabuchi 14 Yui Hasegawa 15 Hina Sugita
Substitutes: 11 Mina Tanaka for Iwabuchi 59’, 19 Saori Takarada for Miyake 70’, 23 Aoba Fujino for Miyazawa
Substitutes not used: 8 Hikaru Naomoto 9 Riko Ueki 12 Ruka Norimatsu 16 Honoka Hayashi 18 Momoko Tanaka 20 Nanami Kitamura 21 Shu Ohba 22 Kiko Seike