Japan impress again as Norway go home; Five star Spain beat Switzerland | OneFootball

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Alex Mott·5 August 2023

Japan impress again as Norway go home; Five star Spain beat Switzerland

Article image:Japan impress again as Norway go home; Five star Spain beat Switzerland

Saturday provides us with the first two last 16 clashes at the Women’s World Cup.

Here’s what happened.

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Miyazawa the hero for Japan

Scorers: Engen (OG) 15′ Shimizu 50′, Miyazawa 81′; Reiten 21′

Japan came into this clash having been, arguably, the best side at this World Cup so far.

Three wins from three, all without conceding a goal – but they took on a Norway outfit aiming to reach the quarter-finals for the second-successive tournament.

It was the Japanese who were enjoying all of the ball early on but it was a freak own goal that gave them a lead.

A cross from the left-hand side hit Ingrid Syrstad Engen and the ball agonisingly beat the goalkeeper and squirmed into the net.

But the Scandinavians were soon level as Guro Reiten placed a superb header past the outstretched arms of the Japan goalkeeper.

Into the second half and Japan immediately clawed back their one-goal advantage as Risa Shimizu beat a defender and finished with aplomb.

Norway pushed to get a second equaliser but Frida Maanum’s shot from the edge of the area was saved well by Ayaka Yamashita.

And as the European side pushed for that goal, they left themselves vulnerable to counter-attacks at the other end.

Which is exactly how Japan got their third goal as Hinata Miyazawa raced in and finished with a neat low effort.

Sensational Spain send Swiss packing

Scorers: Codina (OG) 11′; Bonmati 5′ 36′, Redondo 17′, Codina 45+1′, Hermoso 70′

After their humbling against Japan last time out, Spain were aiming to get their World Cup back on track with a win here.

And they got off to the perfect start as Aitana Bonmati finished well after only five minutes to give La Roja the lead.

The lead didn’t last long though as Laia Codina put the ball into her own net to level things up for the Swiss.

But Spain had the bit between their teeth now and restored their advantage on 17 minutes as Alba Redondo struck.

Bonmati was at the heart of everything Spain were doing well and soon got her second of the game on 36 minutes to further put Spain ahead.

After Codina’s embarrassment earlier in the game, the Barcelona defender scored at the right end just before the break to net her side’s fourth.

After the break Spain took their foot off the gas slightly, but still managed to get a fifth goal with 20 minutes to go as Jenni Hermoso curled an effort past the Swiss goalkeeper.