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Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Japan rallies to 2-2 draw with New Zealand

QINHUANGDAO, China -- Midfielders Aya Miyama and Homare Sawa scored second-half goals to rally Japan to a 2-2 draw with New Zealand in their opening match of the women's soccer competition.

Midfielder Kirsty Yallop tapped in a cross in the 33rd minute to give New Zealand its first goal ever at the Olympics. Amber Hearn then converted a penalty after halftime to double the lead.

But Japan, which dominated possession throughout, pulled one back in the 72nd, when midfielder Aya Miyama slotted a penalty kick just inside the post.

Homare Sawa then tied it up for the Japanese with a brilliant goal in the 86th. Miyama curled a free kick in from the right side that Sawa jumped up and knocked with her right foot just inside the near post.

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