World Cup field narrows as knockout stages get underway
After enduring a barrage of attacks from Japan, the Netherlands were awarded a late penalty, which was then converted in a 2-1 victory at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Rennes, France.
Consequently, the Dutch advanced to their first Women’s World Cup quarterfinal and became the seventh European side to make the last eight.
The Netherlands, the reigning European champions, jumped out in front through Lieke Martens’ 17th minute goal. Japan equalized shortly before halftime through Yui Hasegawa’s right-footed strike.
Then in the 88th minute, Japan’s Saki Kumagai was issued a yellow card for a handball in the penalty area preventing a potential Netherlands’ goal.
Martens buried the penalty.
Japan hit the post and crossbar in the one-goal loss. Japan won the Women’s World Cup in 2011 and was a runner-up in 2015.
The Netherlands advance to face Italy in the quarterfinals on Saturday.