Mizuho Sakaguchi (No. 6) celebrates her goal
Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Watch: Japan scores the ultimate team goal, and one of the best so far in the 2015 Women's World Cup, with incredible build-up play

By The SI Staff
June 24, 2015

Soccer isn't nicknamed "the beautiful game" for nothing, and in Tuesday night's 2–1 Round of 16 win over the Netherlands, Japan proved just that.

Leading 1–0 in the 78th minute, the Japanese followed up a defensive sequence in which they almost conceded by flipping the script and executing perhaps the best team combination play the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup has produced thus far. Deft, composed play in the Netherlands's 18-yard-box started with a back heel, a smartly played ball back to the center of the 18 and a clever dummy that gave Mizuho Sakaguchi the space she needed to curl a shot past Dutch goalkeeper Loes Geurts.

Saori Ariyoshi opened the scoring for Japan in the 10th minute, while Kirsten van de Ven brought one back for the Netherlands in stoppage time.

Defending World Cup champion Japan advances to the quarterfinals where it will take on Australia at 2 p.m. ET on June 27. The other six quarterfinalists are the United States, China, France, Germany, England and host country Canada.

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