Japan stored up their very good Ladies’s World Cup marketing campaign with a deserved 3-1 win over beleaguered Norway to see them by means of to the quarter-finals.
Arguably the match’s finest performers within the group levels, Japan dominated in Wellington however have been twice handed the lead by moments of insanity from a Norway facet who by no means seemed able to dealing with their opponents.
Hinata Miyazawa’s early shot from outdoors the field was turned previous her personal goalkeeper by Ingrid Syrstad Engen, earlier than Norway sprung a shock to degree by means of a booming header from Chelsea’s Guro Reiten with their first effort heading in the right direction of the sport.
A scarcity of innovative stifled Japan earlier than half-time, however 5 minutes after the restart Vilda Boe Risa’s horror go inside her personal field, straight to Risa Shimizu, gave the West Ham defender an opportunity she couldn’t miss to revive their benefit.
Norway lastly launched star striker Ada Hegerberg, an harm doubt forward of the sport, with quarter-hour to go as Hege Riise sacrificed defence for assault.
However she was made to pay when Japan grabbed a 3rd on the break by means of Golden Boot-leader Miyazawa, who netted her fifth of the match to arrange a quarter-final tie with the USA or Sweden.
How Japan confirmed class once more to see off Norway
After scoring 11 unanswered objectives and thrashing Spain 4-0 of their last group sport, all eyes have been on Japan’s more and more spectacular match in opposition to 1995 winners Norway.
Their efficiency in Wellington was totally different, however nonetheless considered one of true high quality. Inside a minute, Aoba Fujino’s urgent contained in the Norway field virtually arrange a chance, however set the tone for what was to comply with.
Whereas Japan had seen off Spain with barely 20 per cent of the ball, they’d loads of it in opposition to Norway and managed the match virtually from begin to end.
All that was missing was a killer contact – till Syrstad Engen supplied one herself, turning Miyazawa’s shot past her personal goalkeeper with an outstretched foot quarter-hour in.
That burst Norway briefly into life, and introduced an instantaneous equaliser out of nowhere. Emilie Haavi was the architect with a robust run by means of midfield, earlier than Reiten’s leap to satisfy a cross left Ayaka Yamashita with no likelihood.
Japan huffed and puffed earlier than the interval in opposition to an overworked Norway defence who stood agency – till 5 minutes into the second interval.
After her team-mates had snuffed out one other Japan assault on the sting of the Norway field, Boe Risa’s inexplicable go throughout her personal space was a present for Shimizu, who completed previous Aurora Mikalsen through a deflection.
Possibilities continued to come back at a premium at each ends till the introduction of Hegeberg, and inside moments Norway might have been degree when Caroline Graham Hansen was performed by means of within the field earlier than dragging an effort simply previous the far put up.
With a lady gentle on the again since that change, Norway have been at all times weak as they mounted rising dangers to maintain their World Cup dream alive.
However their nightmare exit was confirmed with 9 minutes to go as Fujino’s defence-splitting go discovered Miyazawa on the break. Her calm end previous Mikalsen sparked wild celebrations amongst her team-mates, realizing their place within the quarter-finals was assured.
Japan will face the winner of Sunday’s last-16 assembly between USA and Sweden on Friday, kick-off at 8.30am.
The spherical of 16 takes place from August 5 to August 8 with eight video games being performed throughout Australia and New Zealand.
The quarter-finals, which shall be held in Wellington, Auckland, Brisbane and Sydney, are scheduled for August 11 and 12.
The primary semi-final will then be performed on August 15 in Auckland, with the opposite semi-final happening on August 16 on the Accor Stadium in Sydney, which is able to then host the ultimate on August 20.
A 3rd-place play-off shall be performed the day earlier than the ultimate on August 19 in Brisbane.