Japan cut down Steel Roses in football thriller
Substitute Yuika Sugasawa scored with just seconds left as former world champions Japan beat fierce rivals China 1-0 to regain the Asian Games women’s football title on Friday. Forward Mana Iwabuchi crossed from the right wing with only 30 seconds on the clock to set up Sugasawa’s glancing header -- Japan’s first and only attempt on target. The Nadeshiko, named after a frilly pink carnation, also won in 2010 and their second title came in the pouring rain of tropical Palembang, and under their first female coach, Asako Takakura. China dominated the first half but spurned several chances as Japan fought their way back in an attritional contest. Wang Shanshan was flagged for offside as she rolled the ball into the net after just 20 minutes, and Japan ‘keeper Ayaka Yamashita pulled off a superb diving save in the second half to deny Gu Yasha. But Japan came back and they almost had a late penalty for a clumsy Wu Haiyan tackle on striker Emi Nakajima before the linesman’s flag was spotted. With extra time looming, Japan committed bodies forward and finally found the net to dash the Steel Roses’ hopes.
Dirty sea water mars Asiad sailing
Japan’s Akira Takayanagi said he battled dire stomach pains after swallowing dirty sea water to win a gold medal at the Asian Games sailing on Friday. Takayanagi, 22, competing in the men’s 470 event with team-mate Tetsuya Isozaki, was one of several athletes struck by stomach cramps and diarrhoea in Jakarta, where the surrounding bay is heavily contaminated by sewage. ‘I had a really bad stomach earlier in the week, probably from getting the water in my mouth,’ said Takayanagi, who also developed a fever and stomach pains at the Asian sailing championships in Jakarta in June. His compatriot Shingen Furuya, gold medallist in the men’s 49er with Shinji Hachiyama, was running a temperature of close to 40C (104F) in his qualifying races, while Manami Doi was feeling unwell during the final of the laser radial, where she secured the top spot. Hong Kong’s Michael Cheng, who bagged a silver in the RS:X, also blamed the sea for his tummy troubles. ‘I guess it’s the sea water here because we eat together every night (but they are not ill),’ he told AFP, pointing to his support staff. ‘The water looks OK but I just try to remind myself not to open my mouth.’
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