Japan's quest to reach a third consecutive women's World Cup final began with a frustrating goalless draw against unheralded Argentina in Paris on Monday.
Asako Takakura's Japan kept almost two-thirds of ball possession in the first half but struggled to find a way past a disciplined Argentine centre-back pairing of Agustina Barroso and Aldana Cometti.
Japan's only meaningful chance came just after the interval when forward Kumi Yokoyama's long-range effort forced goalkeeper Vanina Correa into her first save, before Yuki Sugasawa blasted the rebound over the bar.
The result ensured Carlos Borrello's Argentina avoided defeat for the first time in a World Cup match, having lost each of their previous six games in the competition.
Japan, who lifted the World Cup in 2011 by defeating the United States, will be disappointed with their sluggish display in the final third after recording just three attempts on target.
The other game in Group D took place on Sunday, with England taking top spot after beating Scotland 2-1 in Nice.
Buchanan goal hands Canada slender 1-0 win over Cameroon
Defender Kadeisha Buchanan scored on the stroke of halftime to hand Canada a winning start to the women’s World Cup as they edged Cameroon 1-0 at a rainy Stade de La Mosson on Monday.
Buchanan came storming in at a corner and delivered a textbook header to break the deadlock.
Yet it was an unconvincing performance from Canada, who are fifth in the FIFA women’s rankings and were quarter-finalists at the last World Cup.
Despite all their possession and passing, Canada managed just three efforts on target as they battled to get the better of the African’s defence.
Canada’s veteran captain Christine Sinclair could only muster several half chances in her bid to become the first player to score at five different women’s World Cups.
Nichelle Prince hit the outside of the post just before Buchanan’s goal and then also put a close-in effort wide on the hour mark.
But Canada almost paid a price for failing to add to the goal when Claudine Meffometou went just wide from a 70th minute corner in the only real effort of the night for Cameroon.
European champions the Netherlands open their Group E account against New Zealand in Le Havre on Tuesday.