BOCHUM, Germany (AP) — Japan has escaped with a 2-1 victory over New Zealand at the Women's World Cup behind a goal in the 68th minute by star player Aya Miyama.
Miyama curled home a perfect free kick to win it for a Japanese team whose play looked suspect for long stretches Monday. Japan is ranked fourth in the world.
Before a crowd of 15,000, both teams struggled on a day when temperatures approached the high 80s. Japan took the lead in the sixth minute on a goal by Yuki Nagasato. Six minutes later Amber Hearn tied it with a header.
England was to play Mexico in Wolfsburg in the other Group B game.