Round of 16 Day One: Switzerland v Spain & Japan v Norway

Switzerland v Spain

In the first game of the Round of 16 Spain have come out firing, beating Switzerland 5-1. It was a fully dominant performance for the Spanish, bouncing back from their last group game they lost 4-0 against Japan.

Head coach Jorge Vilda made four changes to his starting line-up, including giving 22-year-old goalkeeper Catalina Coll her first ever start with the senior national team.

It only took five minutes for Spain to open the scoring, through midfielder Aitana Bonmati, who collected a brace in both goals and assists over her time on the pitch.

Switzerland’s only goal for the game was one they didn’t even score, Spanish defender Laia Codina made a fatal error when playing back to her keeper by not looking at where she was positioned. When the back pass was sent, Cata Coll was far off her line, and couldn’t collect the ball before it reached the back of the net.

Spain scored all six goals of this knockout game, sending Switzerland home and booking themselves a ticket to the quarterfinals, where they will face the winner of the game between the Netherlands and South Africa.

The game will be played at Wellington Regional Stadium in New Zealand on the 11th of August at 11:00am.

Spain celebrating their win against Switzerland - Photo by Getty Images


Japan v Norway

In a contest between two former World Cup winning nations, Japan have come out on top, beating Norway 3-1 to progress to the quarterfinals.

Much like in the earlier game where Switzerland faced Spain, an own goal was scored early on, however this time it was in favour of the winners.

Norwegian defender Ingrid Engen, in an effort to clear a dangerous cross into the box, accidentally deflected the ball into the back of her own net.

They were able to level the playing field through Guro Reiten’s header only minutes later, but it wasn’t enough to stop Japan.

Japan’s solid team performance was like watching a machine at work, every player knew where they had to be and what their purpose was.

Their goals came through Aoba Fujino, and Hinata Miyazawa who now tops the race for the golden boot after scoring her fifth goal of the tournament.

Despite having a two-goal lead in by the 81st minute, Japan did not stop pushing forward to try and further extend their lead, the final play of the game was them looking to exploit a Norwegian error allowing them to launch a counterattack.

Japan will now face the winner of the clash between Sweden and the USA, which will be played in Eden Park, Auckland, on the 11th of August with kick-off slated for 5:30pm.

Japan players emotional after winning against Norway - Photo by Getty Images