It was a good day for Japan and England at the Women’s World cup with Japan qualifying for their first Women’s World Cup quarter-final since 1995, while England are on the cusp of the last eight thanks to a hard-fought comeback victory over New Zealand.
Japan totally overwhelmed Mexico 4-0, with veteran superstar Homare Sawa grabbing the first hat-trick of the tournament. Japan jumped all over Mexico from the opening whistle, scoring twice in the opening 15 minutes and they were 3-0 up by the interval, while Sawa completed her hat-trick in the final ten minutes.
In the later match, England looked to be heading out of the World Cup when Sarah Gregorius put New Zealand ahead. But England fought back and Jill Scott git them back on level terms just the past the hour mark and then Jill Clarke crashed home a winner nine minutes from time.
Japan, on six points, need just a point to hold on to top spot in Group B ahead of remaining opponents England, who themselves have a three-point buffer, and a +5 goal difference advantage, over Mexico, with New Zealand eliminated.