FIFA Women's World Cup
Women's World Cup Daily: Japan rolls through Spain; co-hosts Australia advance
FIFA Women's World Cup

Women's World Cup Daily: Japan rolls through Spain; co-hosts Australia advance

Updated Jul. 31, 2023 9:00 a.m. ET

Japan firmly placed itself into contender status with an emphatic win over Spain at Wellington Regional Stadium on Monday. Is there any slowing down the hottest team in the tournament?

Then, in Group B, co-hosts Australia eliminated reigning Olympic champions Canada in comfortable fashion.

Let's take a look at where the field stands after Day 12 of the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup and look ahead to Day 13:



— Japan won Group C with its impressive 4-0 victory over Spain. It's just the second time Japan has won its group at the Women's World Cup, with the last time coming in 2015. Japan will play Norway in the round of 16.

Read more: How Japan's domination of Spain complicates Team USA's plans

Spain vs. Japan Highlights | 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

— Japan's Hinata Miyazawa recorded her second brace of the tournament, and is now leading all players with four goals. Prior to the start of the tournament, she had only scored four goals in 23 caps for Japan, according to FIFA.

Read more: Golden Boot race tracker: Japan's Hinata Miyazawa takes the lead

Australia knocked out Canada and advanced to the round of 16 behind a brace from Hayley Raso. Raso has scored two goals for Australia on four separate occasions, but she's never scored a hat trick.

Read more: Sam Kerr stays fresh as Australia trounces Canada 4-0 to win Group B

Canada vs. Australia Highlights | 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Christine Sinclair made her 23rd start at the Women's World Cup, which put her equal with Joy Fawcett on the all-time list for starts at the tournament. Only USA’s Kristine Lilly (29) has made more, according to FIFA.

Read more: Australia vs. Canada highlights: Australia moves on with 4-0 win

Zambia recorded its first-ever win in the World Cup, men's or women's, by beating Costa Rica 3-1. Costa Rica remains winless all-time in the Women's World Cup, now 0W-2D-4L. Neither team will advance to the knockout stage.

Costa Rica vs. Zambia Highlights | 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

— Zambia's Barbra Banda scored the 1,000th goal in the history of the Women's World Cup.

Read more: Costa Rica vs. Zambia highlights: Zambia goes out strong in 3-1 win

— Despite dropping points against Ireland, Nigeria advanced to the knockout stage as the runner-up in Group B. Nigeria is the first Confederation of African Football (CAF) team to reach knockout stages in three different Women's World Cups (1999, 2019, 2023).

Ireland vs. Nigeria Highlights | 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

— Ireland recorded its first-ever point at a major tournament, but didn't qualify for the knockout stage.

Read more: Ireland vs. Nigeria highlights: Scoreless draw sends Nigeria through

— Through its first two group stage matches, the USWNT hasn't gotten a signature moment from Alex Morgan yet. With the U.S. facing elimination, the time is now for Morgan to step up, FOX Sports columnist Martin Rogers writes.

Read more: USA vs. Portugal lineup predictions: Should Alex Morgan start?

— The USWNT has been slow to jell at this year's tournament, but coach Vlatko Andonovski expects that to change as this new group plays more meaningful minutes together. "The baseline is the second half of [the Netherlands match], and as we move forward, we're going to see a better and better U.S. team," Andonovski said.

Read more: Despite lack of time together, USA expects more cohesive unit vs. Portugal

— Andonovski has been blamed for the USWNT's early group stage struggles. While some fans might hope that leads to changes in the group stage finale against Portugal, Andonovski says he hasn't seen any of the criticism that's been aimed at him online. "I don't have any social media," he said. "I don't read anything."

Read more: USWNT coach Vlatko Andonovski tuning out his critics: 'I don't read anything'

— There are two things fueling the USWNT's three-peat chase: the chance to become the first-ever team to win the three consecutive World Cups, and coffee. Yes, coffee. "It's like a little splash of joy every morning," left back Crystal Dunn said.

Read more: 'Basically, it's footy & coffee': Inside the USWNT's caffeine-fueled bonding


Assist of the Day: Around the back line

Hinata Miyazawa rewarded Jun Endo's ambitious curved-through ball to the edge of Spain's box with a superb run and a clinical finish.

Japan's Hinata Miyazawa scores goal vs. Spain in 12' | 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Save of the Day: Ireland shuts out group winners

Though a point did nothing for Ireland in terms of qualifying for the knockout stage, it was able to secure its first-ever point at a major tournament thanks to the shot-stopping ability of Courtney Brosnan. It wasn't a particularly busy day for the Irish goalkeeper, who only had to save one shot, but the one block she had was massive.

Goal of the Day: History for Zambia

Lushomo Mweemba scored Zambia's first-ever goal at the Women's World Cup against Costa Rica, and she couldn't have set the bar any higher.

Zambia's Lushomo Mweemba scores goal vs. Costa Rica in 3' | 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup

Must-See Moment: The Matlidas move on

The home crowd at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium celebrated with the Australia women's national team after it punched its ticket to the knockout stage as the winners of Group B.


FOX Sports research numbers to know

10 — The U.S. has earned 10 wins out of 10 games played against Portugal. The U.S. has outscored Portugal 39-0 in those games. The 39 goals is the second-most the U.S. has scored against an opponent without conceding a goal — the most is 49 (49-0) vs. Haiti. You can read our full by-the-numbers breakdown of USA-Portugal HERE.

Group E: Portugal vs. United States (coverage begins at 1 a.m. ET, with kickoff at 3 a.m. ET on FOX).

8 — Before drawing with the U.S., the Netherlands had won all eight of its Women's World Cup games when scoring the first goal.

Group E: Vietnam vs. Netherlands (coverage begins at 1 a.m. ET, with kickoff at 3 a.m. on FS1)

4 — Of the 11 players who started all six games at Euro 2022, four have injuries (Leah Williamson, Beth Meade, Fran Kirby, Keira Walsh), and Ellen White retired as England’s all-time scoring leader.

Group D: China vs. England (coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. ET, with kickoff at 7 a.m. on FOX)

2 — Denmark has never won two games at the same Women's World Cup. The only time Denmark got two results at the same Women's World Cup was in 1999 — a win and a draw in the group stage.

Group D: Haiti vs. Denmark (coverage begins at 6:30 a.m. ET, with kickoff 7 a.m. on FS1)

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