Wellington Regional Stadium hosted Japan vs Spain Group C top place deciding clash on Monday. Japan convincingly sealed their place at the summit with a dominant display against La Roja. Three breakaway first-half goals put the 2011 champions in control, before a late Mina Tanaka strike put the cherry on top to ensure the qualification with three straight wins and without a goal conceded. Hinata Miyazawa scored a brace to help the Japanese side to complete that demolishion. Japan will now face Norway in the last 16, while Spain will take on Switzerland.
Japan (3-4-3): Yamashita; Takahashi, Kumagai, Minami; Shimizu, Nagano, Hayashi, Endo; Naomoto, Ueki, Miyazawa.
Substitutes: Tanaka, Hirao, Miyake, Sugita, Tanaka, Hasegawa, Fujino, Seike, Moriya, Hamano, Chiba, Ishikawa.
Spain (4-1-2-3): Rodriguez; Batlle, Paredes, Galvez, Carmona; Abelleira; Bonmati, Putellas; Paralluelo, Hermoso, Caldentey.
Substitutes: Salon, Coll, Andres, Guerrero, Gonzalez, Hernandez, Codina, Navarro, Perez, Redondo, Zornoza, Del Castillo.
Referee: Ekaterina Katja Koroleva (USA)
The players are out of the tunnel. It is time for the anthems.
Japan gets the match underway.
Spain are dominating possession right from the start.
Endo's free-kick is cut out at the near post by Batlle.
Spain have had all of the ball but so far Japan have looked comfortable in their low block.
Endo curled a penetrative pass around the Spanish defence. Ueki couldn't reacth it, but Miyazawa appeared from nowhere to slide a left-foot shot past Rodriguez. Japan said, Spain can keept the possession. We'll just take the goal.
They've had around 15 per cent of the possession – but when they do get the ball, they look really dangerous on the break.
First shot on target from Spain but what a poor shot.
Spain are just enjoying possession at the moment. They are not in a hurry.
Completed passes so far: Japan 56-262 Spain.
Japan just happy to break Spain on the break and they did it again. Riko Ueki scored the second goal for Japan. Spain are looking terrible at the moment. Ueki cut inside on her right foot and hit a drive that deflected off Paredes and looped over Rodriguez.
Spain have been very narrow in attack, which suits the compact Japan defence.
Paralluelo's long-range shot hits Miyazawa and spins behind for a corner.
Not just Spain, the fans are not even understanding what is happening. Japan are looking brilliant on the break and they scored again. Ueki ran at a backpedalling Spain defence. She waited for support from Miyazawa and played an angled through ball. Miyazawa knocked it into space with her left foot and lifted it effortlessly over Rodriguez with her right.
Carmona takes her frustration out on Ueki and received the yellow card.
Spain had almost 80 per cent of the ball in the first half but id didn't help them for even once. Japan showed calmness and looked very strong defensively. They were devastating on the counter-attack. Hinata Miyazawa scored two superb goals, with Riko Ueki getting the other one via a deflection.
Japan gets the second half underway.
Hernandez wins a corner for Spain on the right. It's punched away by Yamashita
Miyabi Moriya and Yui Hasegawa replace Risa Shimizu and Fuka Nagano.
Alba Redondo and Eva Navarro replace Mariona Caldentey and Alexia Putellas.
Riko Ueki is replaced up front by Mina Tanaka.
Claudio Zornoza replaces Teresa Abelleira.
This result means Japan will play Norway on this ground.
22 per cent possession, five shots, four goals. The substitue Mina Tanaka did this all on her own. She rolled Galvez neatly on the right, ignored a half-arsed challenge from Batlle, used Paredes as a screen and slammed the ball into the top corner with her left foot. A briiliant move from Tanaka shows the potential of the Japanese team. A perfect counter attacking display from them.
Hernandez is booked for a cynical foul on Naomoto.
Japan will play Norway in the last 16 after destroy Spain in spectacular style in Wellington. All four goals – two for Hinata Miyazawa and one each for Riko Ueki and Mina Tanaka – came from brainy, ruthless counter-attacks. Spain had all of the ball, almost 80 per cent, but created very little. And, more importantly, they kept walking into the Japanese trap.