|1||Bardsley (GK)||21||Kaihori (GK)|
|21||Chamberlain (GK)||1||Yamago (GK)|
|13||Brown (GK)||12||Fukumoto (GK)|
|Hope Powell (ENG) ||Norio Sasaki (JPN) |
|Carol Anne Chenard (CAN)|
Goals in either half from Arsenal LFC duo Ellen White and Rachel Yankey earned England a 2-0 victory against Japan in Augsburg and a place in the FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-finals as group winners.
Having won their first two Group B matches, Japan began confidently with Kozue Ando and Homare Sawa both unleashing early shots on goal. However, two minutes after Karen Bardsley had denied the Japanese captain, England took the lead, White dispatching Karen Carney's searching pass with an instinctive first-time lob over Ayumi Kaihori from 20 metres.
Although Japan right-back Yukari Kinga should have at least hit the target after Bardsley palmed Aya Miyama's cross straight into her path, it was White who almost scored again when she improvised a clever overhead kick, from Jessica Clarke's cross, which Kaihori tipped on to the bar.
Norio Sasaki's side began the second half with greater intent and Yuki Nagasato came close to levelling when she poked Miyama's pinpoint free-kick just wide after 48 minutes. England were clinging on as Japan swarmed forward but Hope Powell's side were resolute in defence, and made it 2-0 when substitute Yankey controlled Rachel Unitt's whipped cross on the turn and flicked the ball over the advancing Kaihori midway through the second period.
England will face Group A runners-up France in the last eight while Japan also progress despite this first defeat at the finals. In the other Group B encounter New Zealand scored twice in added time to hold Mexico, who nonetheless finished third, to a 2-2 draw.
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