Japan were held scoreless by outsiders Thailand before three unanswered second-half goals eased the Nadeshiko to victory in their opening 2012 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament qualifier in Jinan, China.
In the day’s other matches, Asian champions Australia fell to a 1-0 loss to fellow 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup™ participants Korea DPR, while hosts China PR played out a scoreless draw with Korea Republic.
Thailand managed to keep Japan at bay until just the hour mark when Nahomi Kawasumi found the net. Asuna Tanaka doubled the lead with 15 minutes remaining, while a Kunupatham Kwanruethai own goal in the final moments blew out the scoreline.
China failed to make the most of their massive home support against Korea Republic as the pair seek to overcome the disappointment of missing qualification for Germany 2011.
In the final match of the day, Australia were unable to peg back a Kim Su Gyong goal scored after just ten minutes, despite Sarah Walsh, Kyah Simon and Elise Kellond-Knight all coming close to getting on the scoresheet.
The six-nation tournament is being played in a round-robin format with the final matchday to be held on 11 September. The top two teams will qualify for London 2012.