RENNES, France — Mana Iwabuchi had an early goal and then Japan held off a late charge from Scotland for a 2-1 victory on Friday at the Women’s World Cup.
Iwabuchi, who was on the Japanese team that won the World Cup in 2011, scored in the 23rd minute to give Japan its first goal of the tournament. Yuika Sugasawa converted a penalty in the 37th minute to pad the lead going into the break.
Lana Clelland’s left-footed shot went into the top right corner of the net in the 87th minute as Scotland furiously worked to break through Japan’s defence.
Japan played to a scoreless draw against Argentina in its opener and needed the confidence boost win with Wednesday’s final group match against England looming.
Scotland has now dropped both of its matches so far in France, after opening with a 2-1 loss to England. The team will play Argentina in its group-stage final.
Taylor puts England in World Cup last 16
LE HAVRE, France — Jodie Taylor scored her first international goal in 14 months to send England into the second round of the Women’s World Cup on Friday in a 1-0 victory over Argentina.
The Argentines, who scored their first ever World Cup point in an opening draw against Japan, were resilient but Taylor finally found a way past goalkeeper Vanina Correa in the 61st minute after she had repeatedly thwarted England’s attack. Correa saved a first-half penalty from Nikita Parris.
Taylor sneaked into a central location unchecked by the Argentine defence and met Beth Mead’s low cross. She nudged the ball into the net and ended a 540-day England goal drought for the Golden Boot winner from the 2017 European Championship.
After edging Scotland 2-1 on Sunday, England has now opened a World Cup with back-to-back wins for the first time and advanced to the next round ahead of its final Group D match against Japan. Italy, France and Germany are also already through to the round of 16 with a game to spare.
Girelli’s hat trick lifts Italy into next round
REIMS, France — Cristiana Girelli scored a hat trick to put Italy into the second round of the Women’s World Cup with a 5-0 victory over Jamaica on Friday.
It was Italy’s second hat trick at the World Cup, as Girelli joined Carolina Morace, who did it at the inaugural 1991 tournament. Girelli’s three goals were the third hat trick so far this World Cup.
Italy upset Australia 2-1 in its opening Group C match with a goal in stoppage time. It positioned the squad to advance out of the group stage with a victory over Jamaica.
Girelli’s first goal was on a penalty kick she got two chances at making. Jamaica goalkeeper Sydney Schneider saved Girelli’s low penalty shot to the right post, but video review determined Schneider came off her line too soon.
Girelli scored on her second attempt to get Italy rolling.
Aurora Galli came in as a substitute for Italy and scored twice to push the final score to 5-0.
The night before the match, Jamaican sprint great Usain Bolt used Skype to call into a team gathering of the Reggae Girlz and encouraged them to "to go out there and do your best. You don’t worry about what other people are thinking."
Jamaica lost 3-0 to Brazil in its opening match.