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Japan 2 (Sameshima 6, Sugasawa 17) Cameroon 1 (Nchout 90)
Japan became the first team to qualify for the knockout stages of the World Cup after two first half goals saw them to victory against Cameroon.
However they needed to withstand a lot of second half pressure from a plucky Cameroon side whose own destiny in the tournament will now be decided in the final game.
Japan were given the best of starts with just five minutes on the clock. Aya Miyama curled a good ball into the area which was missed in front of goal by Yuki Ogimi but Aya Sameshima was on hand to find the empty net at the far post.
Cameroon tried to respond with Raissa Feudjio firing wide following a run into the area but Japan were soon to go two goals ahead. A shot corner resulted in Miyama receiving the ball in space on the left and her cross to the far post eluded Annette Ngo Ndom, with Yuika Sugasawa running in to head home.
A good pass from Gabrielle Onguene gave Gaelle Enganamouit a chance in the area but the angle was just too tight and her shot was blocked at the near post by Ayumi Kaihori. The pace of the Cameroon strikers was troubling the Japanese defence and Onguene was next to get in but her shot was wide of the far post.
Cameroon passed up a glorious chance to bring themselves back into the game five minutes before half time. Onguene found Enganamouit just inside the area where she scuffed her shot but the ball ran to Madeleine Ngono Mani who failed to hit the target from six yards.
After the break, Cameroon tried really hard to get themselves back into the game as they took the game to the World Champions. Indeed, one huge goalmouth scramble saw Japan just hold on, both Ajara Nchout and Enganamouit both having efforts blocked before Onguene eventually fired wide.
Ngono Mani drilled a shot just past the post from distance, before Cameroon gave themselves renewed hope late on. Enganamouit turned provider this time as she threaded an inch perfect ball into the path of Nchout who took one touch before beating Kaihori at her near post.
There was still time for the lively Enganamouit to head inches wide from a Claudine Meffometou Tcheno cross as Cameroon desperately sought the reward of a point for their second half efforts. Japan held on though to confirm themselves as through to the last sixteen and likely group winners, while Cameroon will have a shootout with Switzerland for second place.
Japan: Ayumi Kaihori, Yukari Kinga, Azusa Iwashimizu, Saki Kumagai, Aya Sameshima, Mizuho Sakaguchi (sub Homare Sawa 64mins), Rumi Utsugi, Aya Miyama, Nahomi Kawasumi (sub Shinobu Ohno 55mins), Yuki Ogimi, Yuika Sugasawa (sub Megumi Kamionobe 85mins).
Cameroon: Annette Ngo Ndom, Christine Manie, Cathy Bou Ndjouh, Yvonne Leuko, Claudine Meffometou Tcheno, Genevieve Ngo Mbeleck (sub Francine Zouga 45mins), Gabrielle Onguene (sub Augustine Ejangue 72mins), Raissa Feudjio, Madeleine Ngono Mani (sub Ajara Nchout 62mins), Jeannette Yango, Gaelle Enganamouit.
Player of the match: Aya Miyama.
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