Netherlands will face Japan in the last 16 of the Women’s World Cup after they beat Canada 2-1 on Thursday.

After two wins each, both Canada and Netherlands were looking for a victory that would seal top spot in the group.

In the opening few minutes, Netherlands survived a scare as a penalty award was overturned by VAR. Desiree van Lunteren brought down Janine Beckie but VAR ruled the offence was outside the box.

After 22 minutes, Canada did have the ball in the net but Jordyn Huitema’s goal was ruled out for offside. After that, Netherlands woke up and Vivienne Miedema went close to breaking the deadlock but her strike came back off the post.

After 54 minutes, Netherlands had the lead when Anouk Dekker worked Sherida Spitse’s free-kick into the net via head and shoulder. The lead only lasted five minutes before Canada’s star striker Christine Sinclair equalised.

A draw was good enough for Netherlands to seal top spot but in the 75th minute they sealed a rare victory over Canada. Substitute Lineth Beerensteyn tapped into the net from close range.

In the last 16, Netherlands will now take on Japan. The match will be played on Tuesday.

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