Women's World Cup 2019: Resolute Argentina holds 2011 champion Japan to goalless draw

Argentina claimed its first ever FIFA Women's World Cup point as it kept 2011 champion Japan at bay at the Parc des Princes.

Argentina's Aldana Cometti (L) and Estefania Banini react after earning their side's first ever point at the FIFA Women's World Cup, following a 0-0 draw with Japan.   -  AP

Japan's World Cup campaign got off to a frustrating start as Argentina held the 2011 champion to a 0-0 draw in Group D on Monday.

Asako Takakura's side reached the final in the last two editions of the tournament – winning it in 2011 – but a third consecutive appearance looks unlikely if this insipid display in Paris is anything to go by.

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Argentina had lost all six of its previous World Cup games, conceding a whopping 33 goals, but it more than held its own against a side that sits 30 places above it in the world rankings.

Yui Hasegawa wasted a golden opportunity to seal maximum points in the second half for Japan, which will need to improve dramatically if it is to overcome Scotland in its next group game on Friday.

Japan dominated possession in the first half but was largely kept at arm's length by Argentina's backline.  The closest the side went was after nine minutes when Narumi Miura flashed wide of Vanina Correa's right-hand post from a promising position.

The Argentina goalkeeper cut out Yuika Sugasawa's back-post header soon after with a number of players poised to pounce inside the six-yard box. Correa was called into action five minutes after the restart, pawing Kumi Yokoyama's long-range drive into the path of Sugasawa, who blazed over from an acute angle.

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Hasegawa then had the clearest chance of the game shortly before the hour-mark, skewing horribly wide from 12 yards when it looked easier to score.

That miss appeared to deflate Japan, with Argentina breaking out of its own half to cause its opponent some nervous moments in defence. Neither side was able to find a winner in the closing stages, though, with Argentina finishing as the happier team having claimed its first ever World Cup point.

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