Of the eight teams remaining at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, seven teams are from Europe. On Tuesday in the final two round of 16 matches, Italy defeated China 2-0 and the Netherlands beat Japan 2-1.
In the Netherlands’s win over Japan, they got two goals from Lieke Martens. The Dutch forward opened the scoring in the 17th minute and then scored the game winning goal on a penalty in the 90th minute when Saki Kumagai was called for a hand ball in the penalty area.
There has now been a record 23 penalties at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, of which there has been a goal scored 17 times. For Martens, it was her first two goals of the tournament. The Dutch star midfielder was the 2017 FIFA Women’s Player of the Year after guiding the Netherlands to their first ever UEFA Women’s Championship. In the championship game two years ago, the Netherlands beat Denmark 4-2 on their home pitch in Enschede.
In Italy’s shutout win over China on Tuesday, the Italians recieved a first half goal from Valentina Giacinti and a second half goal from Aurora Galli. Giacinti was able to score off the rebound, while Galli delivered an excellent strike toward the corner of the net. Italy almost scored a third goal, but Chinese goaltender Shimeng Peng made a great save off of Italian midfielder Valentina Bergamaschi.
One area where China had issues at the 2019 Women’s World Cup was creating scoring chances. In four games, China only scored once and that came by Li Ying in the 40th minute in a 1-0 win over South Africa on June 13 in Paris. Italy will now face Netherlands in the quarterfinals on Saturday from Valenciennes.
The only non-European team left at the 2019 Women’s World Cup are the United States, who will have a very intriguing Friday quarterfinal matchup against France in Paris. The other two quarterfinals are England versus Norway on Thursday from Le Havre and Germany versus Sweden on Saturday from Rennes.