Netherlands penalty knocks out Japan


The Netherlands hit Japan with a 90th-minute sucker-punch as Lieke Martens’ penalty sent them through to the last eight of the Women’s World Cup.

The European champions, on the ropes for much of the final 20 minutes, looked to be heading for extra time when Vivianne Miedema’s powerful shot hit the arm of Saki Kumagai at point-blank range.

Martens converted as the Dutch avenged their defeat by Japan at the same stage four years ago when they made their World Cup debut. They will now play Italy in Valenciennes on Saturday.

Coach Sarina Wiegman said: “We were standing in the circle after the match and we were so happy, yelling at each other.

“We were saying, ‘let’s continue writing history’. For the first time we got to this stage at the World Cup. All the players then used this mantra.”

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