Japan thump Spain to book last-16 Norway tie

Japan thump Spain to book last-16 Norway tie

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Japan's players celebrate after scoring against Spain at the Women's World Cup
Japan have scored 11 goals in three games at the Women’s World Cup, more than any other side

Japan showed why they are serious contenders at the Women’s World Cup by hammering Spain to finish top of Group C and book a last-16 showdown with Norway.

The 2011 world champions made it look easy as they scored three times before half-time, with Hinata Miyazawa getting two to take her tally to four goals and become the tournament’s leading scorer.

The attacking midfielder put Japan ahead with a calm finish after Spain’s defence had been exposed, before Riko Uek doubled the lead with a deflected finish which looped into the net.

Miyazawa, who scored two in Japan’s opening group game against Zambia, made it 3-0 by firing across goal and into the net in front of a crowd of 20,957.

Substitute Mina Tanaka added to Spain’s pain with a fourth goal in the 83rd minute.

Japan started the third and final group game trailing Spain on goal difference after both teams had made 100% winning starts in New Zealand.

Japan will stay in Wellington, where they will meet Norway, the 1995 world champions, on Saturday at 09:00 BST.

Group runners-up Spain head to Auckland, where they will play Switzerland at Eden Park on Saturday at 06:00 BST.

Formidable Japan produce masterclass

Japan made five changes to the side that overcame Costa Rica in Dunedin five days earlier yet never looked back after taking control on a blustery evening in New Zealand’s capital.

After wins against Zambia and Costa Rica, this was the night they really showed the world they mean business with a powerful performance which included some exceptional finishing against a Spain side high in confidence after back-to-back wins.

Miyazawa, who also laid on the assist for Ueki’s goal, looks a real handful and will be crucial if the two-time finalists are to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2015.

Japan fans, who turned out in numbers in Wellington with some dressed in colourful masks and national costume, witnessed a masterclass from their team.

Japan had won only one of their previous five games on the World Cup stage before this edition.

But they look formidable after a third successive win in New Zealand.

More to follow.

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Japan

  1. Squad number1Player nameYamashita

  2. Squad number12Player nameTakahashi

  3. Squad number4Player nameKumagai

  4. Squad number3Player nameMinami

  5. Squad number2Player nameShimizu

  6. Squad number16Player nameHayashi

  7. Squad number10Player nameNagano

  8. Squad number13Player nameEndo

  9. Squad number7Player nameMiyazawa

  10. Squad number9Player nameUeki

  11. Squad number8Player nameNaomoto

  1. Squad number6Player nameSugita

  2. Squad number11Player nameTanaka

  3. Squad number14Player nameHasegawa

  4. Squad number15Player nameFujino

  5. Squad number19Player nameMoriya

Spain

  1. Squad number1Player nameMisa

  2. Squad number2Player nameBatlle

  3. Squad number4Player nameParedes

  4. Squad number20Player nameGálvez

  5. Squad number19Player nameCarmona

  6. Squad number6Player nameBonmatí

  7. Squad number3Player nameAbelleira

  8. Squad number11Player namePutellas

  9. Squad number18Player nameParalluelo

  10. Squad number10Player nameHermoso

  11. Squad number8Player nameMariona Caldentey

  1. Squad number9Player nameGonzález

  2. Squad number12Player nameHernández

  3. Squad number15Player nameNavarro

  4. Squad number17Player nameRedondo

  5. Squad number21Player nameZornoza

Line-ups

Japan

Formation 3-4-3

  • 1Yamashita
  • 12Takahashi
  • 4Kumagai
  • 3Minami
  • 2ShimizuSubstituted forMoriyaat 59′minutes
  • 16Hayashi
  • 10NaganoSubstituted forHasegawaat 59′minutes
  • 13EndoSubstituted forSugitaat 85′minutes
  • 7MiyazawaSubstituted forFujinoat 45′minutes
  • 9UekiSubstituted forTanakaat 68′minutes
  • 8Naomoto

Substitutes

  • 5Miyake
  • 6Sugita
  • 11Tanaka
  • 14Hasegawa
  • 15Fujino
  • 17Seike
  • 18Tanaka
  • 19Moriya
  • 20Hamano
  • 21Hirao
  • 22Chiba
  • 23Ishikawa

Spain

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Rodríguez Rivero
  • 2Batlle
  • 4Paredes
  • 20Gálvez
  • 19CarmonaBooked at 45minsSubstituted forHernándezat 45′minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 6Bonmatí
  • 3AbelleiraSubstituted forZornozaat 72′minutes
  • 11PutellasSubstituted forRedondoat 62′minutes
  • 18ParallueloSubstituted forGonzálezat 82′minutes
  • 10Hermoso
  • 8Caldentey OliverSubstituted forNavarroat 62′minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Andrés
  • 7Guerrero
  • 9González
  • 12Hernández
  • 13Salón
  • 14Codina
  • 15Navarro
  • 16Pérez
  • 17Redondo
  • 21Zornoza
  • 22del Castillo
  • 23Coll Lluch

Referee:
Katja Koroleva

Attendance:
20,957

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