The Women’s World Cup recap: Quarterfinals are set

This is a recap of yesterday’s games from the Women’s World Cup.

Japan and Netherlands 2-1

Last night’s match was a thriller, and some of the best football we’ve see the whole tournament. Both sides have a distinct style of play and a high level of technical skill making the match a dream to watch. Japan struck early on, in the tenth minute, when a poor clear from Netherlands put the ball right at the feet of Saori Ariyoshi who quickly put that ball in its place, right in the far corner of the goal from inside the box. While Netherlands held the ball more often than their opponents, true to their very deliberate style, the ladies in orange had trouble connecting their midfielders and strikers to create many offensive chances.  That picked up somewhat in the second half as tension rose, but it would be cut down in the 78th with another Japan goal out of nowhere.

This goal is being called the goal of the tournament by many, as it is perfection in so many ways. You can see the cohesiveness of this Japanese team in this goal. There is palpable trust and knowledge in each player knowing where her teammates are without a second glance.  This goal wasn’t just beautiful but necessary as the Netherlands refused to back down. The finally found their first goal in the 92nd minute with what looked like a major mistake from Japan’s goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori. A very savable header was sent by Kirsten Van de Ven, but Kaihori seemed to misjudge and was caught of balance, letting the ball trickle into the goal. While Netherlands would fight until the last whistle, it was Japan would would come away with the victory.  This Netherlands team is still relatively inexperienced on this level. While there is a chance we may see them in the next Olympics, I’m very excited to see how they develop for the next World Cup in four years.  Japan moves on to play the mighty Matildas of Australia on June 27.


Bracket WWC2015 Quarterfinals

Up Next:
China and USA – Friday 4:30pm PT
Germany and France – Friday 1pm PT
Australia and Japan – Saturday 1pm PT
England and Canada – 4:30pm PT