Japan beat Norway to reach the quarter-finals

Daily Insider News

Japan took a step closer to a second Women’s World Cup title when they beat Norway to reach the quarter-finals.

The 2011 champions made the ideal start when Norway defender Ingrid Engen turned Hinata Miyazawa’s cross into her own net.

However, Norway equalised a few minutes later when Guro Reiten headed home.

Risa Shimizu’s heavily defected strike restored Japan’s lead before Hinata Miyazawa raced through to score a third and seal her side’s progress.

The goal cemented Japan’s place in the quarter-finals and kept Miyazawa on target for the Golden Boot – she leads the scoring charts in Australia and New Zealand on five.

Norway were second best for much of the game but almost set up an exciting finish when goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita superbly kept out Karina Saevik’s bullet header.

Japan will play either defending champions the United States or Sweden in the last eight.Japan are seeking their first Women’s World Cup title in 12 years and they have barely put a foot wrong at this tournament.

They breezed through the group stage without dropping a point, including an eye-catching 4-0 win against fellow quarter-finalists Spain in their final group game.

In that game they played devastating counter-attacking football – winning despite having just 23% possession to show they can dig in and grind out victory against a tough opponent.

Reiten’s goal is the first they have conceded at this World Cup but apart from that header they once again delivered a strong defensive display.

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