Japan has had a thing this tournament where they completely dominate a team in every aspect except the final score. This was another one of those games. Possession may have been even. but for the entire first half, Japan dominated the Dutch in ways that made their nearly split time time the ball seem useless. Saori Yarioshi put Japan in front in the tenth minute, and after that Japan was content holding on to the ball and frustrating the Dutch while they chased the ball around the yard. The second goal didn't come until the 78th minute, and it was a real beauty. It was a combination of wonderful team passing, intelligence both with and without the ball, and and perfectly placed shot that combined to score the goal of the tournament so far. The Netherlands pulled one back in stoppage time, but it was too little too late.
Japan are subtly dominating teams in a way that makes one think there is no way they lose to anyone except Germany. The only team sort of standing in the way of them and the final is England, and I doubt they will be much of a threat to the defending champions.
The quarterfinals are now set. Almost everything played out as we expected in the round of 16. Brazil falling to Australia wa the big upset, England over Norway was a slight surprise. Other than that, it was business as usual.
Germany vs. France 4pm in Montreal
China vs. United States- 7:30pm in Ottawa
Australia vs. Japan- 4pm in Edmonton
England vs. Canada- 7:30pm in Vancouver