Women's World Cup Day 17 recap: Spain and Japan notch easy wins to advance to quarterfinals

Japan's Risa Shimizu, left, celebrates with Japan's Moeka Minami, right, after she scored Japan's second goal during the Women's World Cup second round soccer match between Japan and Norway in Wellington, New Zealand, Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Japan has won all four of its Women's World Cup games so far. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Japan continued its great group stage form with a 3-1 win over Norway to advance to the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup.

Norway gave Japan a 1-0 lead with an own goal by Ingrid Syrstad Engen in the 15th minute. The Norwegians rebounded quickly, however, and Guro Reiten scored five minutes later to tie the game. It was the first goal scored against Japan all tournament.

Japan took over in the second half, however. Risa Shimizu scored the go-ahead goal in the 50th minute.

Hinata Miyazawa then added an insurance goal in the 81st minute.

Japan had 61% of the possessions and looked to be the stronger side throughout the entire game. It had 16 shots to Norway’s eight.

Norway was looking to make a run through the knockout rounds after a lackluster performance in the group stage. Norway was stunned by New Zealand to open the tournament and then tied Switzerland in a scoreless game in its second match. Norway got through to the knockout rounds with a 6-0 win over an overmatched Philippines team, but that turned out to be its only victory of the tournament.

Japan, meanwhile, has four wins in four games and will be an incredibly formidable matchup for the winner of Sunday’s game between the United States and Sweden. Given the way the United States has played in the World Cup so far, it’s hard to see the USWNT not having trouble with this organized Japan side if it gets past Sweden.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - AUGUST 5: Jennifer Hermoso of Spain celebrates scoing her goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Round of 16 match between Switzerland and Spain at Eden Park on August 5, 2023 in Auckland, New Zealand. (Photo by Joe Prior/Visionhaus via Getty Images)

Spain 5, Switzerland 1

Spain put Switzerland away in the first half in a comfortable 5-1 victory over the Group A winners.

Spain scored four goals in the first half and had a three-goal lead at the break before Jennifer Hermoso scored the team’s fifth and final goal in the 70th minute.

The win was about as dominating as you can get without pitching a shutout. Aitana Bonmatí opened the scoring in the fifth minute with a goal that was a sign of things to come.

Laia Codina’s flukey own goal on a back pass tied the game at 1-1, but that tie was a brief one.

Alba Redondo scored six minutes later.

Bonmatí added her second goal in the 36th minute, and Codina then canceled out her own goal with a goal in the 45th minute. Take a look at how Bonmatí was able to find a sliver of space for that second goal.

Spain had 70% of the possession and had 26 shots (10 on target). Switzerland was able to just muster two shots all game.

Spain finished second in Group C to Japan but entered the knockout rounds tied with the USWNT at +400 as the No. 2 betting favorite to win the World Cup. Only England (+300) had better odds than Spain to win the tournament after the group stage.