FIFA WWC Match Day Seven - Goals Galore in Group C

Keep up to date with Edge of the Crowd's coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as the second lot of group stage fixtures took centre stage on an action-packed Day Seven for the FIFA Women's World Cup. How did it all unfold? Read on to find out.

Catch up with what happened on Day Six here:

Japan vs Costa Rica

Japan took a massive step toward qualification with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Costa Rica to kick off day seven of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The goals came in quick succession for Japan with Hikaru Naomoto capitalising on some lightweight defending from Costa Rica to latch on to a forward pass and slide the ball past the oncoming Daniela Solera in the Costa Rica goal to give her country the lead in the 25th minute.

The Japanese lead was doubled just two minutes later when Aoba Fujino recieved the ball on the right wing, driving to the byline and beating three Costa Rican defenders before smashing it past the goalie in one of the best individual goals we have seen at the tournament so far.

In truth, Japan will have been disappointed to not have added more to its goal tally, having more than 20 shots on goal. Similarly, Costa Rica will be disappointed as the side never truly threatened Japan and will leave the tournament with a whimper as opposed to a bang.

In the final round of group-stage matches, Japan will take on Spain in a match that will determine who finished on top of the group, and Costa Rica face Zambia, with both sides looking to pick up their first-ever Women’s World Cup victory.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Aoba Fujino (JAP). The 19-year-old scored her first World Cup goal and toyed with the Costa Rican defence for the entire 90 minutes. A coming out party for the Tokyo VerdyBeleza attacker.

Spain vs Zambia

Spain was tremendous against Zambia, putting five goals past its opposition, simultaneously booking both itself and Japan a place in the knockout round of the competition.

It was a devastating performance from La Roja. The writing was on the wall for Zambia prior to kick-off when two-time Balon d’Or winner Alexis Putellas was named to start. A goal inside the first ten minutes from Teresa Abelleira set the tone - the long-range bullet of a shot is a contender for the goal of the tournament.

Four minutes later, the Spanish were two up thanks to Jennifer Hermoso who would celebrate her 100th cap with not one, but two goals in this fixture, including her 50th at the international level.

Two second-half goals from Abel Redondo on either side of Hermoso’s second ended the punishment for the Copper Queens, as La Roja sent a message to the competition that they are one of the best teams competing at the tournament.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Jennifer Hermoso (ESP). The legendary centurion was incredible today, at the forefront of everything Jorge Vilda’s side did well. And she bagged a brace.

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Canada v Republic of Ireland

Canada got out of jail against the Republic of Ireland who put the pressure on early, but unfortunately succumbed to a one-goal defeat that would signify an early exit for Vera Pauw's team from the nation's Women's World Cup. But it wasn't without excitement early for the Girls in Green.

Captain Katie McCabe gave the Irish fans a reason to cheer the team's first-ever goal at the Women's World Cup tournament, with a fourth-minute Olimpico, delivering the ball from a corner into the top left corner, catching Canada's keeper off-guard.

However, fortunately for a Canadian side who looked below-par by their own standards, on the stroke of half-time, a Megan O'Donnolly own goal would bring the scores level again.

Bev Priestman made a few substitutions at half-time, bringing on a combined 633 international caps worth of players - Christine Sinclair, Sophie Schmidt, and Shelina Zadorsky - which proved a pivotal move as the experience was used to wrestle control away from Ireland, and helped to set up Canada's second goal, scored by Adriana Leon within eight minutes of the restart.

Ireland bows out of this year's event with heads held high in a tournament that was the nation's first with a final match against Nigeria to come in which the side will look for its first Women's World Cup victory. Canada meanwhile improves its chances of a top-two finish, with a fixture against Australia perhaps being the deciding factor in those placings.

PLAYER OF THE MATCH: Adriana Leon (CAN). Leon was substituted off in the second half, but not before she scored the match-winner for Canada, hitting home a close-range strike that would become the deciding factor in the result, as well as having a couple more shots on goal as she threatened all game.

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