Japan qualifies for knockout phase of Women's World Cup with 2-1 win

Japan becomes first team to reach knockout phase of Women's World Cup with 2-1 win over Cameroon

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.

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.

Cameroon scored in the 90th minute after a strong run and shot by Ajara Nchout.

Cameroon nearly tied the score 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. ldate

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