Wiegman tells Netherlands to make more history after Japan win

Lieke Martens scored twice to knock out Japan, but Netherlands head coach Sarina Wiegman is not satisfied with reaching the quarterfinals.

Lieke Martens of the Netherlands celebrates with teammates after scoring her team's second goal against Japan.   -  GETTY IMAGES

Sarina Wiegman told her Netherlands side to make more history after it reached the Women's World Cup quarterfinals for the first time.

Lieke Martens' late penalty earned a 2-1 win over Japan – who knocked out Netherlands at the same stage four years ago – in Rennes on Tuesday.

Martens gave Netherlands the lead, only for Japan to hit back through Yui Hasegawa and the 2015 finalists then had the better chances to win the game.

But after Japan captain Saki Kumagai was penalised for handball after blocking Vivianne Miedema's shot with her outstretched arm, Martens stepped up to convert a 90th-minute penalty and earn revenge for its Canada exit.

Italy await in Saturday's last-eight clash and head coach Wiegman urged her side to refocus on the task in hand after enjoying their historic celebrations.

"We were standing in the circle after the match and we were so happy, yelling at each other," Wiegman, whose 35th win in charge equalled a Netherlands record. 

"We were saying 'let's continue writing history!' For the first time we got to this stage at the World Cup. All the players then used this mantra.

"We were really struggling in the second half. A lot of that had to with Japan's qualities. That happens during a match. There was no pressure on the ball.

"That shows how good a team Japan is. I can start seeing things we did badly, but it was definitely Japan playing well too."

Japan's victory over Netherlands by the same scoreline four years ago was among its wins en route to the final, where they went on to be beaten by the United States.

And coach Asako Takakura accepted his side's inability to take chances against Netherlands – Yuika Sugasawa and Hina Sugita both hit the woodwork – proved costly to its hopes of extending its stay in France.

"We knew it was going to be a difficult match and we needed to change our tactics - that was how we were going to play and overall we played really calmly," Takakura told a news conference.

"Towards the end of the match in the second half we created many goalscoring opportunities, it was really unfortunate that we couldn't take them. I think we lacked the clinical edge.

"We have to accept the result, we're defeated, we're very disappointed and for all the players I feel very sorry for them and frustrated."

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