Chips down for Argentina and Japan
© AFP

Argentina and Japan get the second round of matches in Group A under way on Friday when they meet at the Shanghai Hongkou Football Stadium. Despite suffering very different fortunes in their opening matches, the duo are both firmly focused on claiming all three points and strengthening their claims for a quarter-final spot.

The games
Japan-Argentina, Shanghai, Friday 14 September, 17:00 (local time)

The stakes
The South Americans could not have got off to a worse start at China 2007, suffering an 11-0 defeat at the hands of Germany. And if they are to keep their stuttering challenge alive going into the final round of group matches, then nothing less than a win against the Japanese will do. Not that Carlos Borrello's girls will have things easy. Hiroshi Ohashi's charges showed their willpower and tenacity by scoring deep into injury time to steal a precious point against England; another three points here could serve as a significant step towards the last eight.

The players
Japan are likely to be without forward Eriko Arakawa due to a knee injury while Tomomi Miyamoto has been struggling with a back problem. Argentina's Catalina Perez is available for selection after serving a one-match suspension, while Celeste Barbitta's left ankle is Borrello's sole injury concern.

The past
Argentina were on the receiving end of a 6-0 scoreline when the two sides met in the first phase at USA 2003, a one-sided contest in which Mio Otani scored a hat-trick in only eight minutes - the fastest ever in the history of the FIFA Women's World Cup.

The birthday girl
A Japanese victory would provide the perfect early birthday gift for Nayuha Toyoda, who turns 21 on Saturday.

The words
We know Japan well. They are a fast team who play good football but are not as physical as Germany. It will be a totally different game, nothing to do with what happened in our opening match. We need to win if we want to qualify - Eva Gonzalez, Argentina captain

I'm not satisfied with the point against England and the next game is now very important. At the same time, it was a big boost to score in the last minute. We came back and showed our spirit and it sets us up nicely for Argentina - Eriko Arakawa, Japan forward