Japan made it to the Quarter Finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 for the third time in history after a narrow 2-1 victory over the Netherlands. The world defending champions made it to the Quarter Finals of the World Cup in 1995 and the previous cup, 2011, where they won the championship.
Saori Ariyoshi opens the scoring in the 10th minute with a fine volley from an effort by Yuki Ogimi hitting the crossbar. Since then, Japan has been dominant in both possession as well as shooting chances.
The second half saw the Netherlands pressuring the world champions. However, that did not stop the strong counter-attacking mentality of the Nadeshiko Blues. The second goal for Japan came at the 78th minute with a spectacular finesse from Mizuho Sakaguchi, leaving the goalkeeper Loes Geurts no chance.
In another grand moment during the match. there was a huge ovation for the 36-year-old Japanese legend Homare Sawa coming onto the match substituting Nahomi Kawasumi. The legend will be forever known in the record books as one of the first footballers to participate in a record six world cup competitions, along with Brazilian legend Formiga.
In the dying minutes of the game, the Netherlands scored a goal in stoppage time courtesy of a mistake from the Japanese goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori, from the header by substitute van de Ven. However, that goal was nothing more than a consolation goal, but definitely a goal worth reflecting for the Japanese goalkeeper.
Japan will play their Quarter Final match against Australia on 27th June at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Canada.
Picture Source: FIFA