England tops Japan, clinches Group D
England remained undefeated at the Women’s World Cup and clinched the top spot in its group with a 2-0 victory over Japan on Wednesday.
Ellen White scored both goals against Japan and has three so far at the tournament. The Birmingham City forward broke the deadlock in the 14th minute when she chipped the ball past Japan goalkeeper Saki Kumagai.
White’s second score came in the 84th minute following a through-ball by Karen Carney.
White scored in the opening win over Scotland, then was dropped to the bench against Argentina.
“We’ve just got to give him a headache,” White said with a laugh, describing all the players pushing to start. “For us it’s just about trying to perform and play well and he’s got the hard job to do.”
England advanced to the knockout stage to face a third-place team on Sunday.
“Since Phil’s come in he’s changed different combinations of the squad and I think that’s why this squad is so competitive and so great,” White said. “We can change the squad and show that we can play together and we’ve got so many different combinations and styles and talented players and that’s really important going into a tournament that’s really long.
“We can use all 23 players so that’s exciting and it’s just great to have such talented players that can perform on the biggest stage.”
Japan’s first defeat of the tournament dropped it to second in Group D, with a match against the winner of Group E on Tuesday in Rennes.
Argentina, Scotland draw, Scots eliminated
Florencia Bonsegundo converted a penalty kick in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time on her second attempt, and Argentina overcame a three-goal deficit in the final 30 minutes for a 3-3 draw against Scotland that eliminated the Scots from the Women’s World Cup.
Scotland built a 3-0 lead on goals by Kim Little in the 19th minute, Jenny Beattie in the 49th and Erin Cuthbert in the 69th, but Argentina became the first team at a Women’s World Cup to get a point after trailing by three goals.
Milagros Menendez scored on a counterattack in the 74th minute and Bonsegundo’s long-range shot five minutes later hit the crossbar, bounced down and had enough backspin to go off the fingertips of goalkeeper Lee Alexander and across the line.
Sophie Howard had just entered the game when she slid into a leg of Aldana Cometti, who was streaking into the penalty area. After a lengthy video review, North Korean referee Ri Hyang-ok awarded the penalty kick. Alexander dived to stop the kick by Bonsegundo, who could not get the rebound in. But another video review showed Alexander came off her line before the kick.
Given the second chance, Bonsegundo kicked the ball to the right of the keeper, who dived left.
Scotland, which had been on the verge of winning a Women’s World Cup match for the first time, finished last in Group D at 0-3.
Argentina will advance if both the Cameroon-New Zealand and Thailand-Chile matches today finish in draws. Argentina was eliminated in the group stage of its first two World Cup appearances.