England beats Japan 2-0 to clinch top spot in Group D

Published 5:24 pm PDT, Wednesday, June 19, 2019

For the first time since the 1982 men’s team led by Bryan Robson, Peter Shilton and Glenn Hoddle, England finished a World Cup group stage with a 3-0 record.

Ellen White scored both goals, and the Lionesses roared into the round of 16 with a 2-0 victory over Japan on Wednesday night in Nice to win the group.

Phil Neville’s England squad will play a third-place team Sunday and with a victory would advance to a quarterfinal against Norway or Australia. The victory over Japan came after Neville made eight changes to the starting lineup.

“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.”

Japan, the 2011 champion and 2015 runner-up, finished second with a 1-1-1 record and will play the Netherlands or Canada in the round of 16.

Argentina 3, Scotland 3: Florencia Bonsegundo converted a penalty kick in the fourth minute of second-half stoppage time, and Argentina overcame a three-goal deficit in the final 30 minutes for the draw in Paris that eliminated the Scots.

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 Menéndez scored in the 74th minute and Bonsegundo five minutes later before her late penalty kick.

Argentina has to wait until Thursday’s results to learn its fate. Four of the six third-place teams advance, and Brazil (six points) and China (four points) are assured of two of those spots. Nigeria has three points. Argentina would advance if both the Cameroon-New Zealand and Thailand-Chile matches Thursday finish in draws.

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/England-beats-Japan-2-0-to-clinch-top-spot-in-14021393.php.

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