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Japan stuns Spain 4-0 to top Group C while Zambia earns first ever Women’s World Cup win | CNN


Japan provided one of the performances of the Women’s World Cup so far to stun Spain 4-0 in Wellington on Monday.

A first-half brace from Hinata Miyazawa either side of a deflected shot from Riko Ueki had Japan 3-0 ahead by the 40th minute as its tactic of catching Spain on the counterattack paid dividends in this Group C match

Despite Spanish pressure and possession, Japan further extended the lead through a late Mina Tanaka goal to close out an impressive win.

By topping the group Japan will now face Norway in the last 16 round of the tournament on Saturday. Spain will play Switzerland on the same day.

Meanwhile in Hamilton, Zambia earned its first ever Women’s World Cup victory thanks to a 3-1 win over Costa Rica.

Lushomo Mweemba scored the country’s first ever goal at the tournament through a delightful volley directly from a corner before Barbra Banda doubled the lead from the penalty spot. Banda’s penalty was the 1,000th Women’s World Cup goal.

Although an error from Zambia goalkeeper Catherine Musonda gave Costa Rica a route back into the game, with Melissa Herrera scoring, Zambia secured a famous victory with Racheal Kundananji wrapping up the evening in fine fashion with her late goal in added time.

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Colombia’s Manuela Vanegas celebrates scoring her team’s winning goal against Germany.

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Alexandra Popp battles for the ball during Germany’s loss against Colombia.

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Manuela Vanegas of Colombia marks her player during her team’s game against two-time world champion Germany.

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Germany fans during their team’s Group H game against Colombia.

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Linda Caicedo celebrates scoring her team’s first goal against Germany.

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Norway celebrates scoring in its 6-0 victory against the Philippines on Sunday.

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Dominique Randle (center) consoles a teammate after the Philippines defeat.

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Philippines’ Hali Long makes a heart with her hands at the end of the match.

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Philippines’ goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel fails to stop Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen scoring the game’s third goal.

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Sophie Roman Haug of Norway is challenged by Jessika Cowart of the Philippines.

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Philippines fans cheer for their team before the match against Norway on Sunday.

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Ali Riley and Katie Bowen hug after New Zealand is knocked out of the Women’s World Cup on Sunday.

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New Zealand’s Katie Bowen clears the ball in front of Switzerland’s Julia Stierli.

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Switzerland’s forward Ramona Bachmann controls the ball.

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Morocco players celebrate their 1-0 win over South Korea on Sunday, July 30.

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Morocco’s Nouhaila Benzina, the first player to wear a hijab at a World Cup, is shown a yellow card by referee Edina Alves Batista.

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Morocco’s Ibtissam Jraidi controls the ball before shooting on goal.

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Panama’s Aldrith Quintero in action with Jamaica’s Deneisha Blackwood and Kameron Simmonds in Perth, Australia, July 29. Jamaica won 1-0.

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Jamaica players celebrate after Allyson Swaby scores the team’s first goal.

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France’s coach Herve Renard kisses defender Wendie Renard on the forehead after her winning goal secured a 2-1 win against Brazil.

Katie Tucker/AP

Brazil’s Debinha celebrates her goal during the Group F match against France in Brisbane, Australia, July 29.

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France’s Wendie Renard, right, celebrates with teammates after scoring her team’s second goal.

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Sweden’s Amanda Ilestedt, center, heads the ball to score the opening goal against Italy on July 29. Sweden won 5-0.

John Cowpland/AP

Sweden’s Rebecka Blomqvist celebrates after scoring her side’s fifth goal.

John Cowpland/AP

Italy’s fans cheer before their team’s match against Sweden at Wellington Regional Stadium, New Zealand.

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China’s Wang Shuang celebrates after scoring against Haiti during a Women’s World Cup match on Friday, July 28. China won 1-0.

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Haiti’s Melchie Dumornay, left, collides with China’s Dou Jiaxing on July 28.

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England’s Chloe Kelly attempts a bicycle kick versus Denmark on July 28. England won 1-0.

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England goalkeeper Mary Earps makes a save against Denmark.

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Denmark’s Janni Thomsen, left, collides with England’s Alex Greenwood.

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Lauren James celebrates after scoring against Denmark.

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England’s Keira Walsh is stretchered off after sustaining an injury. Walsh, England’s midfield metronome, went down clutching her knee with no other player in her vicinity

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South Africa’s Bambanani Mbane slides in for a tackle against Argentina’s Mariana Larroquette on July 28. Their match ended in a 2-2 draw.

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South Africa’s Linda Motlhalo celebrates with teammates after scoring her team’s first goal against Argentina. South Africa led 2-0 before Argentina’s dramatic comeback.

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Onome Ebi, left, and Osinachi Ohale celebrate after Nigeria defeated Australia 3-2 on Thursday, July 27. The stunning result means Nigeria has a one-point lead going into its final group game against already eliminated Ireland, while co-host Australia faces a must-win match against Canada.

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Players from Australia and Nigeria compete for a ball in the air on July 27.

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Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese takes a selfie with fans before the Nigeria match in Brisbane.

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Portugal forward Jéssica Silva, right, watches a shot go wide during a match against Vietnam on July 27. Portugal won 2-0, eliminating Vietnam’s hopes of advancing in the tournament.

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Portugal’s Telma Encarnação reaches for the ball during the Vietnam match.

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Vietnam fans show their support before the Portugal match.

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Dutch goalkeeper Daphne van Domselaar grabs the ball over the United States’ Julie Ertz during their 1-1 draw on July 27.

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US fans react during the Netherlands match, which was played in Wellington, New Zealand.

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US midfielder Lindsey Horan celebrates after scoring against the Netherlands. It was her second goal of the tournament.

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Horan’s header tied the match after the Dutch took an early lead.

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More than 27,000 fans attended the Netherlands-US match.

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Canada’s Vanessa Gilles competes for a header with Ireland’s Niamh Fahey, bottom, and Louise Quinn during a match on Wednesday, July 26. Canada won 2-1.

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Ireland’s Katie McCabe applauds fans after the match against Canada.

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Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan can’t get to a McCabe corner kick that went directly into the goal to give Ireland a 1-0 lead. The incredible “Olimpico” goal came in just the fourth minute of play.

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Canadian forward Adriana Leon celebrates after scoring her team’s second goal against Ireland.

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Spain’s Jennifer Hermoso is thrown in the air by teammates as they celebrate their 5-0 victory over Zambia on July 26. With the win, Spain clinched a spot in the tournament’s knockout round.

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Hermoso, left, scores her first of two goals in the win over Zambia.

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Spain fans enjoy the Zambia match at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand.

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Spain’s Alexia Putellas consoles Zambia’s Mary Wilombe after the match. Zambia still has one match to play, but it will not be able to advance to the knockout stage.

Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Japan’s Hikaru Naomoto, center, celebrates with teammates after scoring the opening goal in the 2-0 victory over Costa Rica on July 26. It was Japan’s second win in as many games, and it clinched a spot in the knockout stage.

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Japan’s Mina Tanaka heads the ball toward the Costa Rican goal.

Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Japan fans react during the match against Costa Rica, which took place at the Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Molly Darlington/Reuters

Costa Rican goalkeeper Daniela Solera is shaken up during a play against Japan. She was able to continue.

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Switzerland players, in red, defend their box during a match against Norway on Tuesday, July 25. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.

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Rain pours down during the Norway-Switzerland match.

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People in Indigenous dress perform during a welcome ceremony that was held before Norway-Switzerland.

Amanda Perobelli/Reuters

Philippines midfielder Sarina Bolden celebrates scoring against New Zealand on July 25. Bolden’s first-half header lifted her country to a 1-0 victory — its first win ever at a Women’s World Cup.

Andrew Cornaga/AP

New Zealand’s Hannah Wilkinson attempts to head the ball past Philippines goalkeeper Olivia McDaniel during their match on July 25.

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Bolden scores on New Zealand keeper Victoria Esson.

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Philippines fans show their support during the team’s first-ever win at a Women’s World Cup.

Jaimi Joy/Reuters

Colombia’s Catalina Usme celebrates with teammates after scoring her team’s first goal against South Korea on July 25. Colombia won 2-0.

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South Korea’s Cho So-hyun, bottom left, competes for the ball against Colombia’s Jorelyn Carabali and Carolina Arias.

Carl Recine/Reuters

Colombia fans show their support in Sydney.

Carl Recine/Reuters

Usme tries to control the ball in front of South Korea’s Kim Hye-ri.

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Colombia midfielder Manuela Vanegas receives a yellow card from referee Rebecca Welch.

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Brazil’s Marta, left, heads the ball during a match against Panama on Monday, July 24. Brazil won 4-0.

James Elsby/AP

Brazil’s Ary Borges celebrates her third goal during the Panama. Her hat trick was the first of the tournament.

James Elsby/AP

Brazilian fans watch the match against Panama, which was held in Adelaide, Australia.

Victoria Adkins/AP

Moroccan goalkeeper Khadija Er-Rmichi tries to punch the ball away during a match against Germany on July 24. Germany dominated Morocco 6-0 in what was the biggest scoreline of the tournament so far.

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Germany’s Alexandra Popp celebrates scoring a goal against Morocco.

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Germany fans celebrate as their team gets off to a great start.

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Morocco’s Fatima Tagnaout runs during the match against Germany.

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Italy’s Cristiana Girelli celebrates after scoring a late winner against Argentina on July 24. Italy won 1-0.

Abbie Parr/AP

Italian goalkeeper Francesca Durante makes a save during the match against Argentina.

David Rowland/Reuters

Argentina coach German Portanova reacts during the Italy match.

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Italy’s Giulia Dragoni is challenged by Estefania Banini of Argentina. At the age of 16, Dragoni became the youngest player to represent Italy in the competition’s history.

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Jamaican players celebrate on Sunday, July 23, after their 0-0 draw against France earned them their country’s first-ever point in the Women’s World Cup.

Mark Baker/AP

Jamaica’s Atlanta Primus tugs the shirt of France’s Grace Geyoro.

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Jamaican goalkeeper Rebecca Spencer marshals her defense.

Mark Baker/AP

Jamaica’s Khadija “Bunny” Shaw is sent off for a second bookable offense against France.

Mark Baker/AP

France’s Estelle Cascarino, left, and Shaw battle for the ball.

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Portugal’s Ines Pereira dives in vain as the Netherlands’ Stefanie van der Gragt, not pictured, scores the only goal in the match on July 23.

Alessandra Tarantino/AP

Van der Gragt, left, and Portugal’s Jessica Silva battle for possession.

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Silva signs autographs for fans after the match.

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Sweden’s Amanda Ilestedt celebrates after scoring a late winner against South Africa on July 23. Sweden won 2-1.

Amanda Perobelli/Reuters

South Africa’s Hildah Magaia, who scored the opening goal, runs with the ball alongside Sweden’s Elin Rubensson.

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A South Africa fan shows support during the match.

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Danish players celebrate Amalie Vangsgaard’s late goal that gave them a 1-0 victory over China on Saturday, July 22.

Paul Kane/Getty Images

China fans show their support prior to their team’s opening match against Denmark.

Gary Day/AP

China’s Zhang Linyan competes for the ball with Denmark’s Pernille Harder.

Luisa Gonzalez/Reuters

China head coach Shui Qingxia gestures during the match.

Dan Peled/Reuters

England’s Alessia Russo and Haiti’s Tabita Joseph fight for the ball during the two sides’ opening game on July 22. England’s Lionesses, the reigning European champions, earned a scrappy 1-0 victory over the tournament debutants.

Dan Peled/Reuters

England’s Georgia Stanway converts the winner against Haiti from the penalty spot.

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Nicolas Delépine, Haiti’s head coach, instructs his team during the match.

Zac Goodwin/PA Images/Getty Images

Haiti goalkeeper Kerly Theus jumps to make one of many impressive saves against England.

John Cowpland/AP

Japan’s Jun Endo celebrates with her bench after scoring her team’s fourth goal in a 5-0 win against Zambia on July 22.

David Rowland/Reuters

Japan’s Mina Tanaka battles with Zambia’s Agnes Musase.

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Aoba Fujino of Japan is brought down by Zambian goalkeeper Catherine Musonda, resulting in a penalty to Japan. It was later overturned due to offside.

John Cowpland/AP

Japan supporters react following their team’s emphatic victory over Zambia.

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US forward Alex Morgan is surrounded by Vietnam defenders during their opening match on July 22. The United States, the two-time defending champs, won 3-0.

Fiona Goodall/FIFA via Getty Images

Lindsey Horan, left, celebrates with US teammate Megan Rapinoe after Horan scored the third goal against Vietnam.

Rafaela Pontes/AP

Players collide in the box as Vietnam goalkeeper Trần Thị Kim Thanh looks to clear the ball away.

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US forward Sophia Smith dribbles the ball against Vietnam. She scored the first two goals of the match.

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Fans cheer during the US-Vietnam match in Auckland, New Zealand.

Amanda Perobelli/Reuters

Spain’s Esther González wins a header against Costa Rica’s Mariana Benavides on July 21. Spain won 3-0.

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González scores her team’s third goal against Costa Rica.

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A Māori welcoming ceremony is held prior to the Spain-Costa Rica match.

Molly Darlington/Reuters

Switzerland’s Seraina Piubel scores her team’s second goal during its 2-0 victory against the Philippines on July 21.

Molly Darlington/Reuters

The Philippines’ Katrina Guillou takes a shot against Switzerland’s Gaëlle Thalmann. The goal was disallowed.

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A Philippines fan enjoys the pre-match atmosphere. This was the country’s Women’s World Cup debut.

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Canadian goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan punches the ball clear during a 0-0 draw against Nigeria on July 21.

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/Reuters

Nigeria’s Uchenna Kanu takes a selfie with fans after the Canada match.

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Nigerian goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie clears the ball after saving a penalty by Canada’s Christine Sinclair.

Carl Recine/Reuters

Australia’s Steph Catley, third from left, celebrates scoring her team’s only goal against Ireland on June 20. Australia won 1-0 in Sydney.

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Fans in Melbourne celebrate as they watch the match between Australia and Ireland.

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Ireland’s Heather Payne, left, tries to cross the ball past Australia’s Kyra Cooney-Cross. This was Ireland’s first-ever match in a Women’s World Cup.

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Supporters of both Australia and Ireland watch the match in Sydney. The second match of this year’s tournament set a new single-game attendance record for a women’s soccer match in Australia, with 75,784 fans watching.

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Australian goalkeeper Mackenzie Arnold makes a save.

David Rowland/Reuters

New Zealand’s Ria Percival and Katie Bowen, in black, compete for the ball with Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen on July 20. New Zealand won the opening match 1-0. It was the country’s first-ever win at a Women’s World Cup.

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Norway star Ada Hegerberg reacts after a missed chance against New Zealand.

Abbie Parr/AP

New Zealand’s CJ Bott, left, and Norway’s Mathilde Harviken vie for the ball.

Andrew Cornaga/AP

New Zealand fans react during the match against Norway, which was played in Auckland, New Zealand.

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Norway players huddle before the match against New Zealand.

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Fireworks explode during the tournament’s opening ceremony, which was held before the New Zealand-Norway match.

Buda Mendes/Getty Images

The roughly 10-minute opening ceremony celebrated both New Zealand and Australia’s indigenous heritage and culture, with Māori and First Nations dancers and singers taking to the center of the field.

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Dancers perform during the opening ceremony at Auckland’s Eden Park.

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Performers dance during the opening ceremony.

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A performer is pictured during the opening ceremony.

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Benee and Mallrat perform “Do It Again,” the official song of this year’s Women’s World Cup, during the opening ceremony. Benee is from New Zealand and Mallrat is from Australia.

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Dancers take the field during the opening ceremony.

David Rowland/Reuters

Children hold flags during the opening ceremony.

Prior to Monday’s game, both Japan and Spain had already booked their slots in the tournament’s knockout stages, with this match to decide who would top Group C.

Japan might have made five changes to the team that had beaten Costa Rica in its previous game, but the Asian side’s impressive tactical discipline and energetic defending restricted any clear openings for Spain, despite the European team dominating possession.

Japan looked dangerous on the counterattack and in the 12th minute, Miyazawa capitalized on a beautifully weighted pass from Jun Endo to race through on goal, slotting the ball past Misa Rodríguez in goal as Spain conceded for the first time at this year’s tournament.

Ueki doubled the Nadeshiko’s lead on the half-hour mark, once again punishing La Roja in a swift counterattack with her deflected effort evading a despairing Rodríguez.

The counterattacking strategy continued to pay dividends for Japan with Miyazawa expertly finishing a few minutes before halftime.

And sespite Spanish pressure, it was Japan who got the next goal, Tanaka adding a fourth to further embarrass the European team.

Japan’s last 16 meeting against Norway in the next round of the tournament will see the 2011 world champion – the Asian side beat the US Women’s National Team in that final – take on the 1995 world champion.

Costa Rica and Zambia entered Monday’s game knowing that although both sides’ qualification hopes had gone, the possibility of a first ever Women’s World Cup win was up for grabs.

Mweemba’s exquisite volley in the opening five minutes had the Copper Queens well on their way before Banda – having been fouled in the box by Katherine Alvarado – further extending Zambia’s lead.

Costa Rica ramped up the pressure after the interval and found a route back into the game thanks to a mistake from Musonda, allowing Herrera to score Costa Rica’s first goal at this year’s tournament.

Herrera thought she had brought Costa Rica level when she scored in the 69th minute, only for the offside flag to rule out her effort.

In added time, Kundananji capped off a memorable evening for Zambia, placing the ball past the Costa Rican goalkeeper to send the Zambia fans wild in celebration as their team completed this historic victory.



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