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It's been wonderful bringing you this game. I hope you all enjoyed the game as much as I did. Until Friday, its goodbye from me and all of us at Sportstar.
Netherlands will take on Italy on Saturday. Enough time for the Dutch supporters to grow back their fingernails. For now, let's celebrate the good and bad of this game. The penalty is being hotly debated on Twitter as I type and we will have noise surrounding VAR for a while, but at the end of the day, the Dutch women go through to the quarters and Japan will take the long flight home.
Saki Kumagai is in tears and it is heartbreaking to watch. She was there in 2011, in 2015 and now to see this through too.
Seven of out eight teams to make it through are European sides! Netherlands completes the deck.
This will be the first time an Asian team doesn't feature in the last eight of the FIFA Women's World Cup.
There goes the final whistle.
90' BRACE FOR LIEKE MARTENS . The late goal specialists have done it once more! Unbelievable. The game was slipping out of the hands of the Dutch and what a breather this is for the Oranje!
89' Yellow card Saki Kumagai
Lieke Martens to take the penalty kick.
88' NETHERLANDS PENALTY! The ball strikes the arm of Kumagai as she tries to block Miedema's shot, her arm is away from her body and the ball strikes her outstretched arm. The referee points to the spot straight away and after consulting with VAR, the decision stands.
OH PENALTY POSSIBILITY. Is that a handball?
Oh another substitution for the Dutch. Van de Donk coming off, Roord in.
Merel van Dongen is replaced Kika van Es. The latter captains Ajax.
Netherlands notoriously loves pulling off late winners. Is this one of those days again? The Dutch need to pull out their best cards NOW.
I nearly spat out my cola in the last few minutes.
83' Almost a chance. But Momiki's effort goes over the bar.
80' WHAT IS HAPPENING? JAPAN IS ON FIRE. Yuka Momiki tries again and it nearly gets through a Sugasawa header and strikes it straight to the post. Sari van Veenandaal has seen that and it has been saved. Just how is Japan not finding the net?
Oh there should have been better passing there. A pass here may have seen that goal go through.
79' HINA SUGITA effort hits the crossbar! OH what a miss! She went for the goal, with left-footed effort. That woodwork is cruel.
76' CLOSE! Iwabuchi breaks free in the Netherlands box and should square the ball to a team-mate in a better position, but instead she opts to shoot from a tight angle, firing the ball into the sidenetting.
75' Offside! Sugasawa is played through on goal and appears to only have the keeper to beat, but she takes to long on the ball and Van Lunteren gets back and makes a superb sliding tackle. However, the flag goes up for offside anyway, as Sugasawa made her run slightly too early.
Substitution from Japan. Yuka Momiki in, Emi Nakajima off. World Cup debut for Momiki. How can she help the Nadeshiko?
71' CLOSE! Hasegawa almost puts Japan ahead! It's excellent link-up play by Japan once again, with Iwabuchi once again the creator, she gets into the box and then flicks the ball back to Hasegawa, who fires a low shot towards the bottom corner, but it flies just wide of the Netherlands goal.
Japan is taking the game away from Netherlands bit by bit. The girls are taking control of how the pace of the game goes. The Dutch need to wake up. The stands have muted out too.
Shanice van de Sanden is being hooked off. Lineth Beerensteyn, who scored the winner against Canada, is on.
68' Shanice van de Sanden is being hooked off. Lineth Beerensteyn, who scored the winner against Canada, is on.
67' Jackie Groenen is caught late by Narumi Miura and she's hurt her ankle.
And the substitutions are coming.
Wiegman is carefully watching proceedings. Meanwhile Jill Roord, Lineth Beerensteyn, Anouk Dekker, Kika van Es and Loes Geurts have all been warming up.
59' Netherlands seems to be trying to force the ball forward more than its needs to be, its' producing a few sloppy passes in the final third.
30 minutes remain and we're still looking at a deadlock. It hasn't gotten frustrating yet. Will we get to that point though?
Lieke Martens has scored five of her 43 career goals against Japan. Can she add to that tally?
It makes sense that the Dutch are taking it slow now in the beginning of the second half. Neither side can afford to run out of steam here.
49' SAVE! Spitse gets the ball up and over the wall, it looks to be heading into the bottom corner but Yamashita gets across and makes a strong save, especially as the ball bounced just in front of the keeper, but she pushes it away to safety.
48' Free-kick to Netherlands in a very good position after Iwabuchi clips the heels of Spitse as the midfielder turns. This is a good shooting opportunity.
We have a frightening statistic here: The side to have scored first in every match of the Round of 16 has gone through to the quarter-finals so far.
I have an alarm app that requires me to solve math problems (six to seven of them in a row) successfully to stop the phone from ringing. Initially, groggy me makes a half-effort. Then it dawns on me that I am not going to hear the end of this if I don't act quick and then the math wiz in me (kidding, nothing of the sort exists) comes out and solves the problems to turn the thing off. Sleep dies, I am woken up. Win-win. Japan's first half feels like this. It started groggy. Suddenly the alarm volume got louder after that goal from Martens and then suddenly the pace picked up and Hasegawa equalised. Can Japan keep up the momentum and get out of bed? Or will Netherlands shut the blinds on them again? Second half has the answers.
The land of the rising sun is watching this game in the wee hours of the morning here. It's around 5 am there. Worth it now, isn't it, for those who stayed up? Ah, I am speaking too soon. We still have a good half to go for the Dutch to fight back or Japan to capitalise. For now, we're back to square one.
43' Iwabuchi works the ball infield from the left and finds space, playing the ball to Hasegawa who makes no mistake in clearing the keeper. This is Hasegawa's seventh goal for her country. Take a bow.
I AM A SOOTHSAYER. JAPAN HAS SCORED!
I don't think I am going to declare Dutch dominance here as there seems to be some urgency from Yamashita and co. If they've just realised they're trailing, they are not too late yet. Half time is fast approaching and we still haven't seen a shot on target here for Japan.
I am not the best person to come to for Dutch music preferences. But this one I know!! The Dutch supporters are now playing their rendition of Auld Lang Syne, a Scottish poem by Robert Burns. Brought back some memories from school, this.
Brilliant speed and footwork here from both teams. It's an even contest here on that front.
35' Lovely ball over the top of the Japan defence by Van de Donk, looking for Van de Sanden, but Yamashita is quickly off her line and manages to gather the ball at the top of her penalty area, just before the Netherlands winger can get a touch on it.
The momentum has slowed down here in this game. 2000 Dutch supporters here and the noise in the stadium feels very similar to yesterday's USA vs Spain game yesterday. What does that say about the lively Dutch?
This hasn't been a great half for Japan, what with the goal. Also, Narumi Miura seems to have landed awkwardly on her shoulder. We know she's been nursing it for a while and that's not going to be good if the niggle persists.
Here's that goal from Lieke Martens.
The trumpet renditions of 'We will rock you' are back!
This was Marten's 43rd goal for her country. The Barcelona forward has just done what she knows to do best.
The Dutch have not lost a game where they've scored first, in this tournament. We've seen trends stay on, will this be another one?
17' GOAAAAAAL . LIEKE MARTENS opens for the Dutch! Spitse whips a low corner into the box, which Martens flicks on at the near post, it takes a deflection off a Japan defender which wrongfoots the keeper and it rolls over the line, into the back of the net. None of those Japanese players could do anything about that ball going through them and Netherlands has no complaints.
13' Stoppage in play here as Nakajima is down on the pitch with a head injury after a collision with Van Dongen. The medical team are on the pitch giving her some treatment.
Netherlands is beginning to control the game's rhythm now. The takeover is slow but clever. The Oranje are not letting Japan have a minute of peaceful possession.
11' Good break! Martens breaks forward down the left wing and whips a good ball into the box towards Miedema, but it's too high and Japan manage to clear. However, the flag goes up for offside against Martens.
5'CHANCE! Netherlands with the first opportunity of the game, with Martens doing well down the left wing and whipping a deep cross towards Miedema at the far post, who drills the ball into the ground, but Sameshima makes a superb block to divert it out for a corner.
Talking about Asian teams, the conversation of qualifying for the World Cup is often a difficult one to have in India, where the state of Indian football, particularly for women, is still left wanting - not just for funds and opportunities but also appreciation. Our correspondent G Vishwanath caught up with the Aditi Chauhan and Dalima Chhibber, stars of the Indian national women's team and they don't rule out India making a World Cup breakthrough, not before 2027 though. Read the interview here.
1' We're underway! 6/7 teams that have qualified for the quarters are European sides. Can Japan break the monotony and carry the Asian Confederation's flag high here? Will Netherlands play spoilsport? We will know in the next 90 minutes.
All eyes are on Dutch superstar Vivianne Miedema, who at the age of 22, has such impressive records to her name. When I was 22, I was doing exactly what I am doing now - munching on mexican fries and slugging before the TV. Sigh.
National anthems are being played. I have never paid attention to the Japanese anthem to this day. It sounds beautiful. So calming. We wonder which side of the stadium will be needing that message.
Crowds can make or break you and no one knows this better than the Dutch. The Netherlands fans are going to much smaller in number today though owing to how far Rennes is from the border, but the 2000-odd fans who are expected to turn up will make their voices heard. They are easily the best supporters we've seen in this tournament and I am excited to wait for some "We will rock you" with trumpets and drumsbeats.
It's been a long day of sport today and our newsroom's been buzzing with cricket action from across the English channel. Australia has made it through to the semis but not without some harsh booing from the crowds, directed at Steve Smith and David Warner.
Japan is yet to find that combination that clicks and will enter this tie a little nervously. Three changes for the Nadeshiko. Yuika Sugasawa, Yui Hasegawa and Narumi Miura come in for Kumi Yokoyama, Jun Endo and Rikako Kobayashi.
Barcelona defender Stefanie van der Gragt replaces Anouk Dekker for the Dutch. Stefanie was out with a knee injury but will start today.
LINEUPS ARE OUT. Scroll right down for the starting teams.
We're waiting on the team sheets at the moment which should be out any minute. I am going to quickly grab my McDonalds by then. You might want to get your refreshments too.
Welcome back everyone! What a game that was between Italy and China. The Azzure move on to the quarterfinals on Saturday and will wait for the result of this game to see who they will face. An exciting game is on the cards for us today. Follow all the updates with me right here on Sportstar.
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