Japan produced a stunning display to knock out Norway with a 3-1 victory in the Women’s World Cup round of 16 match on Saturday, August 5. In a clash between two former champions, the teams were evenly matched at halftime, but Japan pulled away in the second half with goals from Risa Shimizu and Hinata Miyazawa.
FIFA rankings had Japan at 11 and Norway at 12, making it a closely contested encounter. Both teams had faced their share of challenges in the tournament so far. Japan managed to come through its group without any defeats, while Norway suffered a setback in the tournament opener, losing to co-hosts New Zealand. There were also reports of a public spat that threatened to disrupt Norway’s campaign. However, the team showed resilience and eventually secured a spot in the round of 16.
The expanded 32-team format of the Women’s World Cup had led to some surprising outcomes in the group stage, with traditional powerhouses like Germany, Canada, Brazil, and China being knocked out, while lesser-known teams like Morocco and Jamaica made historic advances.
The clash between Norway and Japan promised to be an exciting encounter, with both teams having a rich history in women’s football. Norway coach Hege Riise acknowledged the rising level of the World Cup and praised the growth of women’s football. She acknowledged that Norway’s group was not easy, and after a disappointing start, they managed to improve their performance and gain confidence.
On the other hand, Japan’s coach Futoshi Ikeda highlighted the team’s collective effort, which had resulted in three clean sheets in the group stage. The Japanese players worked cohesively as a unit, demonstrating strong teamwork and determination.
With Japan’s win, they progressed to the quarter-finals and set up a meeting with either the United States or Sweden. The Women’s World Cup continued to be full of surprises, and the knockout stage promised more thrilling encounters as teams fought for glory on the global stage. Switzerland also advanced to the next round with two goalless draws and a 2-0 win in their opening match, while Spain awaited them as their opponents. Coach Inka Grings emphasized the importance of assertiveness in attack and recognized the strength of the Spanish team.
As the Women’s World Cup entered its business stage, fans eagerly awaited more intense battles between talented teams from around the world. The tournament had already provided plenty of excitement and drama, and it was only set to get better as the quest for the coveted trophy continued.