After having already qualified for the Round of 16 in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, the defending champions of the world secured maximum points after clinching a 1-0 victory over Ecuador at the Winnipeg Stadium. Yuki Ogimi gave the great start for Japan scoring from a touch by Aya Miyama’s shooting attempt; enough to seal the final 3 points in the last game of the group stage.
The Nadeshiko Blues did not stop there. They had several attempts including a spectacular header from Miyama that tipped off the bar from a great skill by Saori Ariyoshi’s pass through the defenders.
Ecuador did have attempts to equalize in the second half of the game. On the 65th minute, Japan’s top defender Megumi Kaminobe cleared the ball from the 6-yard box, preventing Ecuador’s Kerlly Real to even take the shot.
Japan will qualify for the round of 16 with the maximum 9 points in their group stage, along with Brazil who topped Group E also with the maximum points after defeating Korea Republic 2-0.
Japan will play their Round of 16 match against the Netherlands on the 23rd June at the BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.
Japan: Fukumoto, Ariyoshi, Kitahara(Kamionobe 45′), Kawamura, Sameshima, Ohno(Nagasato 75′), Sawa, Tanaka, Miyama, Ogimi, Sugasawa (Iwabuchi 80′ )
Ecuador: Berruz, Rodriguez, Ortiz, Moreira, Ponce, Pesantes, Aguilar, Olvera, Real, Quinteros (Caicedo 83′), Vasquez(Riera 90′)
Picture Source: AFP & Getty Images