Japan survive Cameroon’s late surge, advance to KO stage

 

Aya Sameshima scored in the 6th minute as defending champion Japan became the first team at the women’s World Cup to secure a berth in the knockout stage with a 2-1 victory over Cameroon on Friday night in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Yuika Sugasawa added a header off a cross by Aya Miyama in the 17th minute for Japan (2-0), which held on for the win despite a strong performance by Cameroon — which scored in the 90th minute after a strong run and shot by Ajara Nchout.

Cameroon nearly tied the game in stoppage time on a header by Gaelle Enganamouit, but her shot missed just to the left.

Japan plays its final group stage match against Ecuador on Tuesday, while Cameroon (1-1) faces Switzerland.