Nadeshiko set to face Netherlands

Nadeshiko set to face Netherlands
Nadeshiko Japan players — including Homare Sawa, second from left, and Yuki Ogimi, third from left — arrive in Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon.
PHOTO: Japan News/ANN

VANCOUVER - Nadeshiko Japan is set to face the Netherlands in the first knockout round at the FIFA Women's World Cup in Vancouver on June 23 (11 a.m. June 24 in Japan). The group stage finished Wednesday.

The Netherlands is ranked 12th in the world and is making its debut in the World Cup. The team beat New Zealand 1-0 in the Group A opener, then were defeated by China 0-1 in the second round. The team drew with Canada 1-1 in the third game. The Netherlands progressed to the knockout stage in third place in Group A.

Japan coach Norio Sasaki and the Nadeshiko players moved from Winnipeg to Vancouver on Wednesday.

"The results [of the group stage] show a natural course, but we will brace ourselves and work to improve the details and quality of our performances," Sasaki said at the airport. "I am analysing [the Netherlands'] games at this competition, and [I think] it is a very good team that has players with speed and skill. But we will advance to the next stage [the quarterfinals] by playing our own football."

The last four matches in Groups E and F were played on Wednesday. In Group F, France overwhelmed Mexico 5-0 while England defeated Colombia in a close 2-1. France topped Group F and England came second, both advancing to the knockout phase.

In Group E, Brazil won over Costa Rica 1-0 and smoothly advanced with three consecutive victories. South Korea came from behind to beat Spain 2-1, coming in second place in their group.

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