Women’s World Cup: Netherlands last minute penalty leads to Japan’s exit


The 2-1 loss to the Netherlands was Japan’s best performance. Although the Japanese side started slow, they eventually found themselves as a huge threat in this game. Late in the second half, Japan looked dangerous in every attack, but ultimately, it was the Dutch who were able to get the decisive goal.

Japan started the game sluggish, it was only after the Dutch scored first, in the 17th minute, when Japan found a spark.

Lazy defending on a corner allowed Lieke Martens to re-direct the ball into the back of the net. She was unmarked and looked to just be trying to flick it when the ball went through the legs of Japanese striker Yuika Sugasawa and trickled into the back of the net. Japanese goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita couldn’t help but watch it roll in.

After this, Japan woke up, starting their attack three minutes later. A pass from Yui Hasegawa to Sugasawa led to a shot off the post. More combination play helped their attack, as Japan equalised in the 43rd minute.

Nice combination play for the Japanese saw the ball finally land at the feet of Hasegawa, who she took a shot and levelled the score-line.

Japan continued to dominate in the second half. In the 71st minute, Iwabuchi took the ball up the by-line and dropped it to Hasegawa who just hit the ball wide of the net. Then in the 76th minute, Iwabuchi took a chance of her own only to hit the side-netting.

Three minutes later, after a give-and-go between Iwabuchi and Sugita allowed Sugita to take her space easily from the Dutch defence. She just missed the goal, hitting the crossbar instead. Only a minute later, substitute Yuka Momiki had her own chance on goal, which was saved by Dutch keeper Sari van Veenendaal. In the 82nd minute, Momiki hit Narumi Miura in an overlapping run, but she launched the ball over the goal.

The Netherlands took the lead in the 90th minute, when Dutch striker Vivianne Miedema attempted a first time shot on the goal but hit the arm of Japanese defender and captain Saki Kumagai. Instant penalty, but it was still a tough call. Kumagai was pretty close to Miedema when she took the shot, it could have gone either way. Not too long later Martens converted, the shot itself wasn’t great, but she was able to fool Yamashita.

Ultimately, Japan deserved to win, they dominated since the Netherlands first scored. The Dutch relaxed their way to that penalty. Japan would have done better had they put more of their chances on target, but they still were the aggressor of this game.

Although Japan hasn’t looked well in this tournament, that really took a turn in this game. Had they started as aggressive as they ended, the Netherlands wouldn’t have gotten their first goal, and maybe Japan would have moved on to the quarter-finals.



Nothing Found

Apologies, but no results were found for the requested archive. Perhaps searching will help find a related post.

Women's World Cup

Nothing Found

Apologies, but no results were found for the requested archive. Perhaps searching will help find a related post.


Comments are closed.