Dutch double knocks Japan out of World Cup

The Japan national team, ranked No. 7 in the world, was a finalist in the previous World Cup in Canada in 2015, after winning the tournament held in Germany in 2011. The eighth-ranked Dutch made sure Nadeshiko would not make a third consecutive trip to the final. (The Japan News/ANN)
The Japan national team, ranked No. 7 in the world, was a finalist in the previous World Cup in Canada in 2015, after winning the tournament held in Germany in 2011. The eighth-ranked Dutch made sure Nadeshiko would not make a third consecutive trip to the final. (The Japan News/ANN)

RENNES, France (The Japan News/ANN) – Japan was eliminated from the FIFA Women’s World Cup by the Netherlands in Rennes, France, on Tuesday, losing in the round of 16 by a score of 2-1.

The Japan national team, ranked No. 7 in the world, was a finalist in the previous World Cup in Canada in 2015, after winning the tournament held in Germany in 2011. The eighth-ranked Dutch made sure Nadeshiko would not make a third consecutive trip to the final.

After conceding the first goal to forward Lieke Martens on a corner in the 17th minute, Japan leveled the match in the 43rd through midfielder Yui Hasegawa. In the second half, however, Nadeshiko failed to convert its chances.

Shortly before the end of regulation, defender Saki Kumagai conceded a penalty on a handball. Martens converted the penalty kick in the 90th minute to send the Netherlands through to face Italy in the quarterfinals.

Italy beat China 2-0, making this eighth Women’s World Cup the first to not have any team from Asia in the quarterfinals. ●

By Kazunori Hirachi