Late penalty drama puts paid to Japan

Runners-up from 2015 World Cup beaten by the Netherlands after harsh penalty call

Referee Melissa Borjas awards the Netherlands a late penalty against japan. Photograph:  Maja Hitij/Getty Images

Referee Melissa Borjas awards the Netherlands a late penalty against japan. Photograph: Maja Hitij/Getty Images

 

Netherlands 2 Japan 1

The Netherlands reached the women’s World Cup quarter-finals for the first time when Lieke Martens’s last-gasp penalty earned them a 2-1 victory against Japan on Tuesday.

Martens put the Dutch in front after 17 minutes, only for Yui Hasegawa to level on the stroke of half-time, but the forward sent the European champions through with a spot kick in the last minute.

Japan, who hit the woodwork twice, dominated the second half but lacked a finishing touch.

The Netherlands, taking part in only their second women’s World Cup, will play Italy in Valenciennes on Saturday after the Azzurre beat China 2-0 earlier on Tuesday.

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