Martens scores twice as Netherlands eliminates Japan

Nicholas Mendola
NBC Sports

Lieke Martens scored twice, the second an 89th minute penalty, as the Netherlands claimed the final Women’s World Cup quarterfinalist slot with a 2-1 defeat of Japan on Tuesday.

Yui Hasegawa scored for Japan, who exits in the Round of 16 four years after losing the final to the United States.

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The Dutch will face Italy in the quarterfinals.

[ MORE: Italy tops China ]

Holland spent most of the first quarter hour in the Japanese end, and Martens redirected a corner kick back at the goal from the front post. It turned off Japanese forward Yuika Sugasawa and crept inside the far post to make it 1-0 in the 16th minute.

Sugasawa nearly answered straight-away, curling the ball around the keeper but off the far post from the penalty spot.

Hasegawa leveled the score line just before halftime, checking back to run onto a delightful ball from Mana Iwabuchi and smashing a shot into the upper reaches of the goal.

Dutch keeper Sari van Veenendaal made an outstanding save early in the second half, and Japan whistled a shot through a defender’s legs but wide of the goal in the 71st.

Van Veenendaal was again there to rescue the Dutch when Yuka Momiki hit pause on her mark and drilled a left-footed shot on target, moments after Japan blasted the cross bar.

Saki Kumagai couldn’t get her arm out of the way of an 88th minute blast, and a penalty was awarded to the Netherlands. Would it withstand VAR? Yes (though you can judge whether it should have below). And Martens wrong-footed the keeper to make it 2-1 in the 90th.

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