Women's World Cup: Ellen White double seals top spot for Lionesses

Ellen White's brace earned England a 2-0 win over Japan to maintain its 100 per cent record at the Women's World Cup.

England finished top of Group D at the Women's World Cup with a 2-0 win over Japan secured, thanks to Ellen White's double.

The Lionesses lost to Japan in the last World Cup's semi-final stage, but they gained a measure of revenge with a battling victory in Nice on Wednesday.

With Phil Neville making eight changes to his side with an eye on the knockout rounds to come, White's goals were enough to ensure England finished with three wins from three.

White opened the scoring with a deft strike and she struck again late on to settle matters, but Japan had also already qualified and they go through in second place.

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Karen Bardsley made a sensational save high to her right to push away Kumi Yokoyama's long-range free-kick, then England opened the scoring in the 14th minute.

Georgia Stanway's perfectly timed through ball put White in on goal and she beat Ayaka Yamashita with a clever chipped finish to net her second goal of the tournament.

England was close to doubling its lead in the 59th minute, but Yamashita was sharp to keep out Toni Duggan's volleyed effort that came at the end of a sweeping team move.

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Japan was threatening at the other end, with Yuika Sugasawa denied the chance to test the well-protected Bardsley by a last-gasp challenge from England skipper Steph Houghton before the substitute striker toed wide Aya Sameshima's cross.

And White made sure of the points with six minutes to go, again timing her run well to meet Karen Carney's pass and firing a placed effort inside Yamashita's near post.

England now waits to see who it will face in Sunday's last-16 game while Japan will take on Group E's winners, who will be either Canada or Netherlands.

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