Ja­pan through to last 16 at Women’s WCup

The China Post - - SPORTS -

De­fend­ing cham­pion Ja­pan be­came the first team to con­firm its place in the last 16 af­ter a 2-1 victory over Cameroon while the other Group C game saw Switzer­land rout Ecuador 10-1.

Swe­den held the United States to a score­less draw at the Women’s World Cup on Fri­day, pro­vid­ing a good re­sult for the Swedes and their coach Pia Sund­hage, who used to be in charge of the Amer­i­can team.

The United States was a point clear atop Group D, ahead of Australia which beat Nige­ria 2-0.

The Amer­i­cans were chas­ing a win which would have as­sured a place in the knock­out stages but could not break down the welldrilled Swedes.

The U.S came close to scor­ing when vet­eran striker Abby Wam­bach headed on goal in the 72nd minute but the bounc­ing shot was tipped over the cross­bar by Swe­den goal­keeper Hed­vig Lin­dahl.

Swe­den came closer yet in the 77th when only some des­per­ate de­fend­ing by Meghan Klin­gen­berg pre­vented the Euro­pean team go­ing ahead. Klin­gen­berg, a diminu­tive de­fender po­si­tioned on the line for the Swedish cor­ner, leaped to get her head on a goal-bound shot by Swe­den’s Caro­line Seger, de­flect­ing it onto the bar and away to safety.

Goal-line tech­nol­ogy con­firmed the ball never crossed the line.

The United States needs only a draw from its fi­nal group game against Nige­ria to be sure of pro­gress­ing, while the Swedes will need to beat Australia if they are to make it to the last 16.

Ja­pan scored two early goals and held on for a 2-1 win against Cameroon.

Aya Sameshima scored in the 6th minute and Yuika Su­ga­sawa added a header off a cross by Aya Miyama in the 17th.

Cameroon pulled a goal back in the 90th minute af­ter a strong run and shot by Ajara Nchout and al­most snatched a draw in stop­page time but Gaelle En­ganamouit’s shot missed just to the left.

Australia put it­self in a strong po­si­tion to progress af­ter beat­ing Nige­ria 2-0 thanks to two goals by Kyah Simon.

Simon beat Nige­ria goal­keeper Pre­cious Dede on a feed from Lisa De Vanna to put the Matil­das up 1-0 in the 29th minute. She then found her­self un­guarded in the front of the goal to put away Sa­man­tha Kerr’s arc­ing cross in the 68th minute.

Late in the match, Kerr was el­bowed in the jaw in an off-the-ball in­ci­dent which was not seen by the ref­eree. Australia coach Alen Sta­j­cic said the 21-year-old striker would re­quire X-rays to de­ter­mine if her jaw was bro­ken.

Bar­ring an up­set de­feat for the United States in the last round of group games, Australia will need only a draw against Swe­den to reach the next stage. Nige­ria must beat the Amer­i­cans by at least two goals if they are to go through.

Switzer­land handed an­other heavy de­feat to Ecuador, beat­ing the over­whelmed South Amer­i­cans 10-1, with Fa­bi­enne Humm and Ra­mona Bach­mann both scor­ing sec­ond-half hat tricks.

Humm’s three goals came within 6 min­utes early in the sec­ond half, the first on a pow­er­ful strike from out­side the penalty area in the 47th minute to put Switzer­land up 3-0. Bach­mann capped her scor­ing binge in the 81st minute for Switzer­land’s 10th goal.

Eseosa Aig­bo­gun and Martina Moser added goals for Switzer­land.

Angie Ponce, who was re­spon­si­ble for two own goals, also scored one at the right end with a 64th minute penalty to record Ecuador’s first World Cup goal.

Ecuador lost its open­ing match 6-0, and this was the sec­ond game of the tour­na­ment to record a dou­ble-fig­ure score as the tour­na­ment ex­pe­ri­ences grow­ing pains from ex­pand­ing to 24 teams.

AP

Swe­den goal­keeper Hed­vig Lin­dahl #1 saves the header from United States’ Alex Mor­gan #13 as Swe­den’s Amanda Ilest­edt #14 de­fends dur­ing sec­ond-half FIFA Women’s World Cup soc­cer game ac­tion in Win­nipeg, Man­i­toba on Fri­day, June 12.

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