Women’s World Cup Round of 16: Netherlands takes on Japan in 2015 knockout encore

Having won all three of its group stage games, a confident Netherlands will look to beat Japan to secure a place in the quarterfinal of the Women’s World Cup. The winner of the tie will face the winner of the Italy vs China tie.

ned vs japan

In an encore of 2015, Netherlands takes on Japan in the final round of 16 game of the FIFA World Cup.   -  Getty Images

The Oranjeleeuwinnen take on the Nadeshiko in the last round of 16 game of the Women’s World Cup at Roazhon Park in Rennes on Wednesday.

Netherlands doesn’t have an enviable record against Japan. The teams have faced off eight times, with the latter winning five of those matches and Netherlands managing three victories. These games average at least four goals per game, and if that record is anything to go by, this will be a tight game to watch.

Sarina Wiegman’s girls come into this tie on the back of winning all three of its group ties, while Japan finished second in group D behind England.

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Having made their first World Cup appearance in the previous edition and bowing out in the Round of 16s after losing to none other than Japan, the girls will want to do better, a step at a time this year.

Netherlands has had fairly easy outings in the group stage and will have to up its game to take on a determined Japanese line-up.

 

Champion in 2011, runner-up in 2015 – Japan’s portfolio is enviable in the FIFA Women’s showpiece. This is a young team though and incidentally, the youngest remaining team in the fray and will look to live up to its reputation as it takes on the Dutch.

Japan comes off a loss to England in its final group game. It’s last meeting with Netherlands too was forgettable, with the Dutch pulling off a 6-2 victory in an Algarve Cup game in 2018. The Nadeshiko will want to shake these stats off and head out with a fresh mind.

Japan has scored only two goals in this tournament, against Scotland. It failed to score against England and Argentina. With Miedema and co constantly pressing for goals on their end, Japan will have to pull up its socks ahead of this clash. Injury concerns for the team has not helped its cause but the team has shown energy and drive to stay alive in the tournament.

Rennes is far from the Dutch border so the orange army isn’t going to be as imposing (in number) as it has been in the other clashes of the tournaments. We don’t expect a dip in decibels though, with over 2000 Netherlands fans expected there for the game.

The winner of the tie will face the winner of the Italy vs China tie in Valenciennes on Saturday.

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ROAD TO KNOCKOUTS:

NETHERLANDS

Netherlands snatched a 1-0 victory over New Zealand in its opening Women's World Cup match thanks to Jill Roord's stoppage-time header. Match report

Vivianne Miedema became Netherlands' record scorer as her brace inspired a 3-1 win over Cameroon that booked a place for the Dutch in the Women's World Cup last 16. Match report

Christine Sinclair scored at her fifth Women's World Cup but Canada finished second behind Netherlands in Group E after Lineth Beerensteyn scored the decisive goal in a 2-1 win for the Oranje. The Dutch therefore booked a meeting with Japan, a repeat of the 2015 fixture, in the Round of 16. Match report

JAPAN

Japan's World Cup campaign got off to a frustrating start as Argentina held the 2011 champion to a 0-0 draw in Group D. Argentina claimed its first ever FIFA Women's World Cup point as a result. Match report

After a frustrating goalless draw with Argentina in its opening game, Japan claimed a win over Scotland. Mana Iwabuchi starred in a game that would be the only one Japan scored in during the group stage. Match report 

Ellen White's brace earned England a 2-0 win over Japan to maintain its 100 per cent record in the tournament, taking the Lionesses to the top of Group D. Japan made it through to the knockouts, being the second best team in the group. Match report

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