Japan ‘sweeps’ group with 4-0 win over Spain…host Australia also advances to round of 16

Japan swept aside Spain to advance to the round of 16 at the Women’s World Cup with a three-game group stage sweep.

Japan thrashed Spain 4-0 in their final Group C match at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia-New Zealand 2023 at Wellington Regional Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, on Wednesday, led by a two-goal, one-assist performance from Hinata Miyazawa.

Japan, who had already qualified for the Round of 16 with back-to-back wins, ended the group stage on a high note, moving to the top of the group with nine points.

After the men’s national team defeated Spain 2-1 in the group stage of the Qatar 2022 World Cup, Japan Football has established itself as the ‘nemesis’ of soccer giants Spain with a cool victory at the Women’s World Cup.

Spain, who had also secured a spot in the round of 16 with two straight wins, suffered their first defeat and finished second in the group with six points.

Japan will play Group A runner-up Norway and Spain will face Group A leader Switzerland in the quarterfinals. Both matches will be played on Aug. 5.

Japan, who won the 2011 tournament in Germany and finished runner-up in 2015 in Canada, will be looking to win their second World Cup title in as many tournaments.

With both teams performing well in their previous matches, a tight contest was expected, but once the game started, it was a one-sided affair in Japan’s favor.

The Japanese used quick, accurate attacks from their three-top attacking line of Miyazawa, Naomoto Hikaru, and Ueki Riko to keep Spain guessing.

Japan took the lead in the 12th minute through Miyazawa.

Jun Endo’s penetrating pass from the left was collected by Miyazawa, who rattled the net with a calm shot into the bottom left corner of the goal.

Two Spanish defenders were caught off guard by Miyazawa’s quick feet.

In the 29th minute, Ueki received a pass from Miyazawa and hit a shot from the left side of the goal area that bounced off a defender’s foot and over the keeper’s height into the net to make it 2-0.

Miyazawa finished off Ueki’s pass with a right-footed shot in the 40th minute for her first multi-goal game.

Miyazawa, who also scored twice in the first game against Zambia, increased her tournament tally to four goals and moved into sole possession of the top scoring spot.

Four other players, including Germany’s Alexandra Pope and Brazil’s Ari Borges, are tied for second with three goals.

Mina Tanaka’s goal in the 37th minute sealed the 4-0 victory for Japan.

Tanaka broke away from three defenders from the right flank and split the goal with a left-footed shot from the front of the goal area.

The match between Zambia and Costa Rica, which had already qualified for the round of 16, ended with a 3-1 win for the Zambians.

Hosts Australia advanced to their fifth consecutive World Cup round of 16 after defeating Tokyo 2020 Olympic champions Canada.

The Socceroos were led by a multi-goal outburst from Haley Lasso as they cruised to a 4-0 victory over Canada in the final Group B match at Rectangular Stadium in Melbourne, Australia.

The win puts Australia, who finished third in the group, atop the group with a 6-2-1 record.

The cooler-than-cool victory propelled them into the Round of 16, where the tournament continues to heat up.

Co-hosts New Zealand finished third in Pool A and did not advance to the round of 16.

Australia, who have been playing in the World Cup since 1995 in Sweden, have not missed a round of 16 tournament since 2007 in China.

While Canada slipped to third place (4-1 W, 1 D, 1 L) and was eliminated from the tournament, Nigeria, who drew 0-0 with Ireland in the other match in the same group, finished second (5-1 W, 2 L) and advanced to the round of 16.

Australia finished second in Group D, while Nigeria will play for the top spot in Group D and a place in the quarterfinals.

Laso opened the scoring in the ninth minute with a right-footed finish off a ground ball cross from the left, and then made it 2-0 in the 39th minute when he slotted home a loose ball in the box from a corner kick.

Australia added another 13 minutes into the second half when Mary Fowler finished off a cutback from Caitlin Foward down the left side of the box, and Steph Catley’s penalty kick wedge in stoppage time completed the 4-0 victory. 토토사이트

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