Japanese stand between Matildas and semi spot

THE Matildas will face Japan in the quarter-finals of the women's World Cup in Edmonton on Sunday morning after the defending champion beat the Netherlands 2-1 in the final round of 16 match.

A goal in each half was enough for Japan, with Saori Ariyoshi scoring from inside the box after 10 minutes when the Netherlands defence failed to clear a header that rebounded off the woodwork. Mizuho Sakaguchi (pictured) doubled the advantage on 78 minutes with a brilliant shot from the edge of the penalty area.

Kirsten Van Den Ven pulled a consolation goal back during injury time, but Japan was clearly the better side for most of the game. Australia and Japan last met in the final of the Asian Cup in Vietnam in May last year, with the Matildas squandering a host of excellent chances before losing 1-0.

Quarter-finals: Germany v France, China v USA, Australia v Japan, England v Canada.

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