Iwabuchi’s late goal is a winner
JAPAN 1, AUSTRALIA 0
EDMONTON, Canada — Mana Iwabuchi scored during a scramble in front of the goal in the 87th minute and defending champion Japan beat Australia, 1-0, on Saturday in a Women’s World Cup quarterfinal game.
The goal came after Japan spent much of the second half generating a majority of the pressure. Aya Miyama’s corner kick was blocked in the penalty area, but the ball bounced to Azusa Iwashimizu, who got off a hard shot.
The kick was blocked by goalkeeper Lydia Williams and the ball squirted to the left, where Iwabuchi kicked it into the open side. Iwabuchi had replaced Shinobu Ohno in the 72nd minute.
Japan will face England in a semifinal matchup Wednesday in Edmonton.
Australia was eliminated after making its deepest run in a World Cup.
Japan finally wore down Australia in the second half.
In the 77th minute, Saori Ariyoshi broke free up the middle only to have her shot blocked by Elise KellondKnight.
Japan had the best scoring opportunity of the first half, in the 22nd minute off a turnover.
Nahomi Kawasumi burst free up the right wing and threaded a pass into the penalty area, where Ohno punched the ball just over the open right side of the goal.
Japan is 4-0-1 in its last five games with Australia.