HOLDERS Japan on Tuesday, held off the Netherlands to progress to the Women’s World Cup quarter-finals.
Saori Ariyoshi put Japan ahead early on in Vancouver, slicing home after Yuki Ogimi’s header came off the crossbar.
A left-footed curling effort from Mizuho Sakaguchi doubled their lead.
The Netherlands gave the defending champions a late scare when Kirsten van de Ven headed home in injury time, but Japan held on to book a meeting with Australia in the last eight.
Their quarter-final will take place this Saturday.
The result means the Netherlands missed a chance to qualify for next summer’s Rio Olympics as one of Europe’s top three teams, but they could still earn a place via an European play-off.