Day 4 of the World Cup featured one match each from Groups D and E, with the second match of Group E – New Zealand v Netherlands – to be played later tonight.
Argentina V Japan
Argentina have walked away with a point for the first time in seven World Cup matches, after holding out 2011 champions and 2015 runners-up Japan to a scoreless draw.
While Japan were the favourites to take out the match, they struggled to find the back of the net due to the South Americans’ resolute and united defending.
This is Argentina’s first appearance at the World Cup since 2007, where they lost all their group matches – a similar outcome to their performance at the 2003 World Cup.
Emotions ran high in the Argentinean players’ post-match celebrations. This is a team that has fought long and hard for funding and bare recognition from their federation. In making a return to the World Cup and nicking a point off a heavyweight nation in their opening game, it was evident in the players’ faces how important this result was for them.
That feeling when you avoid defeat for the first time at the #FIFAWWC
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) June 10, 2019
Canada V Cameroon
It was the question that everyone was asking – will Christine Sinclair score again in the opening match for Canada, just like she did for the previous four World Cup campaigns she’s been a part of?
However, it was defender Kadeisha Buchanan who was the hero of the day, securing the crucial three points for Canada with her lone game-winning goal.
She emulated fellow Lyon teammate Wendie Renard, flying into the box during a corner kick to send a strong header past Cameroon’s goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom, moments before the halftime whistle.
Whilst Canada dominated possession throughout the game, they failed to create any clear-cut chances. Cameroon were electric and lively in every movement as they looked to upset a team that has racked up eight clean sheets from nine games in 2019 – backed by their passionate supporters who brought the atmosphere to the Stade de la Masson.
Canada 1 (Buchanan 45’)