Holland 2-1 Japan Women’s World Cup: Last-gasp Martens pen seals win

Holland 2-1 Japan Women’s World Cup: Last-gasp Martens pen seals win

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The ongoing controversy surrounding the handball rule continued at the Women’s World Cup as Holland were awarded a contentious late penalty to beat Japan and reach the quarter-finals Lieke Martens scored her second of the game to secure a 2-1 victory after it was adjudged that Japan captain Saki Kumagai had blocked a shot with her arm Yui Hasegawa had pulled Japan level following a cute opener from Martens, but it would be the interpretation of the handball law which was the talking point again at Rennes’ Roazhon Park Lieke Martens held her nerve in stoppage time to slot home a penalty and win the game The no 11 burst away in celebration after winning the game for her nation in the dying moments Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema had an early effort blocked behind but the Dutch were ahead with 17 minutes on the clock as Martens’ clever back-heel found a way into the corner of the goalfollowing a deflection Yuika Sugasawa then hit the outside of the post as Japan looked to level before the interval and the equaliser duly arrived as Hasegawa brilliantly chipped home Yui Hasegawa had pulled Japan level in the tie at 1-1 after delicately chipping the goalkeeper The Holland ‘keeper rushed out but closed her eyes as Hasegawa pulled off the classy finish With clenched fists and arms outstretched in celebration, Hasegawa let out a cry of relief Earlier, Holland had broke the deadlock after Martens showed flair to flick home a cornerBoth sides created further chances in the second-half as an even contest appeared set for extra-time It was Japan who looked like finishing the game stronger, Hasegawa firing inches wide, Mana Iwabuchi hitting the side-netting and Hina Sugita hitting the crossbar But it would all prove to be for nothing as Holland secured their place in the last-eight and a meeting with Italy The deft touch made its way through bodies of Japanese defenders enroute to the goal The goalkeeper had her vision impaired as the ball honed in on the bottom corner of the goal Martens raced off to the touchline with her team-mates in tow to celebrateWith two minutes remaining, Miedema’s shot hit Kumagai on the arm, which was down by her side, and referee Melissa Borjas pointed to the spot Martens kept her composure to convert from 12 yards but even then Japan pushed for a second equaliser as a goalmouth scramble was cleared by the Dutch, who held on to progress

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