A last-minute free-kick denied England victory against Japan as the two sides battled for an entertaining 2-2 draw in their opening Group A game at the 2007 World Cup.
Having gone behind to Aya Miyama's free-kick early in the second half, Kelly Smith looked to have won the game for England when she struck in the 81st and 83rd minutes.
• Smith devastated by draw
But Japan won another free-kick in a dangerous position in the final seconds of the game and Miyama struck a superb shot into the back of the net to rescue a point.
England, who were making an appearance in the global tournament for the first time in 12 years, had put in a promising display throughout which should bode well for the rest of their tournament.
The game got off to lively start as both sides attacked and Japan went close in the third minute when Eriko Arakawa fired just wide of England goalkeeper Rachel Brown's post.
Some good play between Smith and Eniola Aluko almost opened the Japan defence as Aluko won possession 30 yards from goal and played the ball to Smith but the Arsenal forward was unable to find her strike partner with the return ball.
Smith then flashed a shot wide of the post in the 15th minute after she had skilfully worked her way into the Japan area.
England were enjoying most of the possession as the half wore on and should have taken the lead in the 38th minute.
Japan goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto raced out of goal to try to clear the ball only to miss it completely and the onrushing Aluko pounced on the mistake, only to send her shot wide of the open goal from the edge of the box.
England came out strong after the break and Katie Chapman saw her goalbound shot cleared by the Japan defence in the 50th minute.
But it was the east Asians who took the lead in the 55th minute when they won a free-kick just outside the box and Miyama stepped up to rifle a shot beyond Brown and into the back of the net.
The goal saw Japan grow in confidence and the England defence was called upon on a number of occasions to stem the attacks.
But the Three Lions roared forward and the ever-dangerous Smith came close to pulling England level though just after the hour mark when her powerful rising shot went just wide of the post.
Aluko was denied soon after as England searched for an equaliser when her effort was cleared on the line by Japan defender Hiromi Isozaki.
And in the 81st minute England were rewarded for their domination as Smith grabbed the equaliser.
With the defence failing to clear, Smith picked up the ball in the box and turned towards goal before cooling slotting beyond the hapless Fukumoto.
And just two minutes later the 28-year-old put England ahead when she broke down the left before firing a powerful drive at Fukumoto, who could only deflect the ball back into the path of Smith who made no mistake from close range.
It appeared as though England would hold on for a deserved victory but Japan rescued a point at the death through another Miyama free-kick as the midfielder flighted a ball perfectly over the wall and into the back of the net.
• Smith devastated by draw
England striker Kelly Smith felt devastated as she watched Japan snatch an equaliser at the death in their World Cup Group A opener in Shanghai.
Arsenal star Smith was the hero for the Three Lions as her strikes in the 81st and 83rd minute wiped out Aya Miyama's 55th minute free-kick and looked to have put England on course for the three points at the Hangkou stadium.
But Miyama stepped up deep in injury time to rattle home her second free-kick of the night and ensure a share of the spoils.
Throughout the game England had put in an inspired performance on their return to the World Cup finals after a 12-year absence.
And although Smith admitted the draw was disappointing, she praised the performance of the team on the night.
'I feel devastated,' said the 28-year-old. 'With about a minute to go I could feel myself smiling inside thinking we had picked up three points.
'But then, with the last kick of the game, they hit a great free-kick and I just thought we had thrown the game away.
'We had gone from a real high to be brought back down to earth.
'I feel that on the night we deserved all three points with a great team performance, we dug deep and showed a lot of character and I am very proud of the girls.'
England have to pick themselves up for a crucial game against defending champions Germany on Friday.
It will not be an easy game, especially with Germany full of confidence following their stunning 11-0 victory over Argentina in the opening game of the tournament on Monday.
But Smith is confident England can get a result against Silvia Neid's side.
'We have played Germany a number of times and know their formation inside out,' she added.
'I'm confident in the team that we can get a result out of the game.
'The group is still open and with two games to go we are still in it.'
England coach Hope Powell refused to blame any of her players for Japan's two goals, insisting there was little that could be done to prevent them.
'The first one was unfortunate,' said the 40-year-old.
'I think it might have hit someone before it went in, the second one was very well struck and you have to give the girl credit.'