Japan Women resumes dominance

Japan Women resumes dominance

Japan Women are looking to continue their perfect run in the knockout stage with a win against Norway Women. Norway and Japan had a different path coming into the knockout stage, due to their performances in the group stage. Japan did not dropped a single point in their group stage, winning all their matches. As for Norway, they had a tougher journey going to this stage, as they needed to win against the Philippines to secure their spots. These two teams are no longer new with each other as they already met for eight times. From those meetings, it was Japan who has a narrow advantage, winning three matches. This knockout stage match will be on August 5, 2023, at 4:00 PM (GMT+8).

Japan Women

Women's World Cup: Japan Women
Photo courtesy of AFP

Japan is coming into this match flawless, as they did not dropped a single point during their group stage. They won all their three matches, scoring 11 goals, without conceding a single goal in their campaign. Due to this result, they finished at the top of their group, winning their group stage with nine points. Coming into this match, Japan are looking to continue their perfect run in the contest, to enter the quarterfinals. Japan actually won the title during the 2011 edition of the World Cup, and ended up as runners-up in 2015. However, in 2019, they failed to be as impressive as they were, reaching only the knockout stage. Moreover, when it comes to their last five games, Japan is having a good run as well, winning four and losing once. Their outstanding record is what will work for their advantage, as Japan aims for the title again.

Hana Takahashi, Saki Kumagai, and Moeka Minami, are all retaining their spots for the backline. Meanwhile, Yui Hasegawa, and Tanaka are both expected to be recalled here, despite being dropped to the bench on their last group match. Moreover, Miyazawa is looking to add to her goal tallies, as her squad relies on her.

Norway Women

Women's World Cup: Norway Women

Norway on the other hand is a team who finished at the second of their group, garnering only four points. Although they have the same point with the third, New Zealand, they were able to snatch the spot due to their goal difference. They won only once in the group stage, losing to New Zealand, but drew against Switzerland. Norway are fortunate that they scored the highest number of goals-six, which earned them a qualification here. In fact, Norway is one of the most successful national teams in the history. They were able to win in the Women’s World Cup, Women’s Euro, and even the Olympic Games. However, if they are looking to advance to the next round, they need to improve here, as their group stage is underwhelming.

Maren Mjelde resumes her partnership with Mathilde Harviken to improve their central defense, hoping for their third consecutive clean sheet. Moreover, Vilde Boe Risa, Reiten, and Frida Maanum are all going to operate in the midfield.

Prediction:

Japan Women (1.5)
Odds: -0.97

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