Netherlands are into the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals after Lieke Marten’s double downed a resilient Japan.

Netherlands got off to a bright start and nearly took the lead through Vivienne Miedema within the first five minutes, but her effort was blocked.

In the 17th minute, Netherlands did take the lead in spectacular fashion with Lieke Martens back-heeling a corner into the net.

Sugasawa hit the post for Japan but Netherlands remained in control without threatening a second goal. Two minutes before the break, Japan got their first shot on target and it resulted in a goal. Yui Hasegawa was played through on goal and she calmly fired Japan level.

In the second half, Netherlands struggled to create chances and Sari van Veenendaal had to make a great save to deny Emi Nakajima. Japan looked the more likely to score with Hina Sugita hitting the crossbar.

However, with a minute left, Netherlands were awarded a penalty when Miedema’s shot hit a Japanese defender’s hand. Martens stayed calm from the spot to fire Netherlands 2-1 ahead.

Just before full-time, Japan almost equalised but Sherida Spitse was in the right place to clear off the line.

Netherlands advance to their first ever World Cup quarter final and will take on Italy this Saturday.




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