Mana Iwabuchi scored during a scramble in front in the 87th minute and defending champion Japan beat Australia 1–0 on Saturday in the Women's World Cup quarterfinals. Japan will face England or Canada in the semifinals.
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) —
The goal came after Japan spent much of the second half generating a majority of the pressure in the Australian end.
The shot was blocked by goalkeeper
Japan will face England in the semifinals in
The fourth-ranked Nadeshiko have won eight straight tournament games, dating to the 2011 World Cup in Germany. That's when they won the title by beating the United States in penalty kicks.
Japan was coming off a 2–1 victory over the
The Matildas did a better job than Japan's previous tournament opponents in bottling up the middle and pressuring the ball carrier to disrupt the Nadeshiko's crisp, short-passing style.
But the Japanese attack finally wore down Australia in the second half.
In the 77th minute, Saori Ariyoshi broke free up the middle only to have her shot blocked by
Japan has gone 4-0-1 in its past five meetings against its Asian regional rival, and is 8-1-1 in its past 10 games.
Japan had the best scoring opportunity of the first half. It happened in the 22nd minute off an Australian turnover.
Some four minutes later, the Australians responded off a great run by
Mitaldas' goalkeeper Williams made a leaping stop to deflect Miyama's hard shot just over the top of the net in the 33rd minute. And Williams got help on the ensuing corner kick, when Australian defender blocked Iwashimizu's shot from just inside the 6-yard box.
It was the third tournament start for Kaihori, while