Women's World Cup 2019 scores, highlights: England, Italy advance to round of 16; Japan picks up crucial win
Here's what to know and see for the day's action in France
Day 8 of the 2019 Women's World Cup featured nine goals, three winners and some teams booking their spot in the round of 16. Japan, Italy and England all earned three points on the day, and a quarter of the round of 16 field is now set as four groups have all played their second games.
Here's a look at the schedule and what to know:
Women's World Cup scores for Friday
• Japan 2, Scotland 1
• Italy 5, Jamaica 0
• England 1, Argentina 0
England advances, looks like a lock to win group
It hasn't been an incredibly convincing campaign from England, but the Lionesses have done just about enough to advance to the knockout stage. Expected to beat Scotland and Argentina pretty comfortably, Phil Neville's team has notched back-to-back, narrow one-goal victories, including a 1-0 result on Friday against Argentina. The chances were there, but some inspired play from Argentina goalkeeper Vanina Correa kept them in it, including a penalty stop.
England was the strong side throughout the entire match, but It took 61 minutes for the European giants to score through Jodie Taylor's back-post finish. England had 17 shots to Argentina's two, while also having 76 percent possession. Here's the winning goal:
As for Argentina, is there such thing as a good loss? You can make the argument that the fact that Argentina didn't get blown out means they enter the last game against Scotland with just a minus-one goal differential and a solid chance to go through. A win against Scotland may just be enough to get them through, so losing 1-0 on Friday isn't all that bad.
When you consider the fact that the other two teams Argentina is competing with for the final third-place spot in the next round both have zero points in Chile and New Zealand, we may just look back on this result as the one that maybe saves them on goal differential alone. If the group stage were to end today, Argentina would be through. They have Correa to thank.
Talk about a performance of a lifetime for the Argentine shot-stopper.
Italy through to round of 16
The Italians have joined England, France and Germany in the next round with their victory, as they are guaranteed one of the four third-place spots in the next round at worst. Taking on the youngest team in the cup, Jamaica, Italy got a hat trick from Cristiana Girelli and two from Aurora Galli. The win the other day gave Italy is first win at the World Cup in 20 years, and this one now creates some incredible momentum ahead of its next game against Brazil. Italy has looked super confident all tournament long and have defended well, but most importantly they are putting the ball away when some teams known for their scoring haven't been able to.
It was another tough outing for Jamaica goalkeeper Sydney Schneider, but it's a great learning experience for the New Jersey-born international. Currently a member of the UNC Wilmington women's soccer team, she got her first call-up to Jamaica last year and has been impressive, including numerous saves on Brazil in the opener.
This match also produced one of scariest moments and examples of toughness, with Sara Gama taking a kick to the face when going for the ball. Take a look:
She somehow stayed in the game with an ultra impressive amount of toughness and heart as they matched their biggest World Cup win in history.
Young Japan squad finally delivers
After getting just two shots on goal against Argentina and lacking creativity up top, Japan looked much sharper on Friday with 19 total shots and seven on frame. The team managed to mix up a bit of how they played instead of relying on just balls into the box, moving the ball well and taking what the defense gave them. Mana Iwabuchi scored the first goal 23 minutes in before Yuika Sugasawa finished a penalty kick. Take a look at Iwabuchi's goal, as she hit it well with pace, but the location wasn't great and it still found a way in with a rocket up the middle:
With an average age of 24, this is far from the experienced Japan teams we saw at the last two World Cups, but this result is one that will give them a lot of confidence ahead of facing England in the final game.
As for Scotland, they just keep digging themselves holes they can't get out of. In both games so far, they've gone down 2-0 and have come close to coming back, but their goals have come on average in the 83rd minute, leaving next to no time to get a second. They still have a shot to get through with a win over Argentina, but they'll likely need a sizable victory to improve their minus-two goal differential to get by as one of the four best third-place teams.
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