Women's World Cup - Japan hammer Mexico

Fri, 01 Jul 16:00:00 2011

Japan routed Mexico 4-0 in Leverkusen to progress to the quarter-finals of the Women's World Cup from Group B thanks to a hat-trick from captain Homare Sawa.

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Japan join France and Germany in the quarter-finals after romping to victory over a hapless Mexico side.

The crowd in Leverkusen were treated to a hat-trick from captain Sawa and a cracking strike from Shinobu Ohno.

Japan had the better of the game from the whistle as they pushed Mexico back immediately and were ahead after just 13 minutes through Sawa.

An Aya Miyama free-kick from the left wing was swung in and it found the captain perfectly at the back post and she made no mistake in heading home past Cecilia Santiago in the Mexico goal.

The second came just two minutes later and really knocked the wind out of the sails of the Mexicans.

Yuki Nagasato laid the ball off to Ohno on the edge of the Mexican penalty box and she produced a lovely flick which saw her ghost past two defenders before rifling a shot inside Santiago's near post.

Mexico were struggling to get a foothold in the game and they were not threatening the Japanese goal at all, and it got even better for the Asian side on 39 minutes.

Miyama again the provider as she crossed the ball to the near post from a corner and there was Sawa again, evading her marker and glancing a header to double her tally.

Mexico were extremely fortunate not to concede a fourth before the break as the tireless Nagasato got on the end of a through ball and calmly slotted past Santiago but she was flagged offside: The replays showed that she was comfortably onside.

The second half was a bit of a damp squib as Mexico switched to 3-5-2 but could not produce any extra penetration.

It was Japan who continued to produce the threat and with 10 minutes to go it was Sawa again who hit the back of the net.

Yukari Kinga produced brilliant work down the right and cut the ball back from the by-line to a waiting Sawa who swept home to secure her hat-trick.

Nagasato and Miyama both hit the woodwork as Mexico were flagging in the latter stages, but in truth the game had been over for a long time.

Japan progress to the quarter-finals and Mexico must beat New Zealand and hope other results go their way.

Phil Haigh - Follow me on twitter @philhaigh_ / Eurosport

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