Team GB News
Team GB: Quarter Finals Booked
Team GB secured qualification for the quarter-finals of the Olympics with a 1-0 win over host nation Japan.
24 July 2021
By Joshua Bunting
Following the win over Chile Hege Riise knew a win would send her side into the last eight of the competition.
Team GB created the first opportunity in the 17th minute after a quick passage of play when Lucy Bronze crossed for Ellen White who flicked the ball out to Sophie Ingle before her shot was blocked and put behind for a corner that came to nothing in the end.
Leah Williamson then made a good block on 29 minutes as Honoka Hayashi stepped onto a poor pass before fizzing a shot in but the Arsenal defender did well to make the block before Lucy Bronze took the pressure off winning a goal-kick.
Japan then started to take control of the game as Mina Tanaka received the ball on the edge of the area before turning quickly and cracking her effort wide of the right hand post.
On 42 minutes Williamson played a superb pass into Lauren Hemp taking the Japanese defence out before the wingers cross aiming for Ellen White was over-hit and sailed wide for a goal-kick.
It wasn't a first half that will live long in the memory with not many chances being created and with Japan keeping a good team-shape and frustrating Team GB in midfield.
Hege Riise's side started the second half well moving the ball quicker along with making a tactical change moving Kiera Walsh higher up the pitch.
Williamson on 58 minutes met a corner before flicking it over the defenders head but was prevented getting a shot away by a good challenge from Risa Shimizu.
A minute later Riise then thought it was time for a change as Caroline Weir came on for Sophie Ingle meaning that Walsh dropped back allowing Weir to push higher up the pitch.
In a game limited with talking points it was Walsh who tried her luck on 70 minutes as she cut inside before unleashing a strike wide of the target.
However Team GB did take the lead on 74 minutes when Kim Little turned away from danger before playing the ball out to Bronze who crossed perfectly for White to head into the net to break the deadlock.
Riise then made further changes as Rachel Daly, Georgia Stanway and Jill Scott all came on replacing Nikita Parris, Little and Lauren Hemp.
Team GB had the final opportunity of the game as Weir clipped a free-kick over the wall before the ball landed on the roof of the net.
Team GB will play their final match of Group E against Canada on Tuesday 27th July at 12pm (BST).
Roebuck, Bronze, Williamson, Houghton, Stokes, Walsh, Ingle (Weir 59'), Parris (Daly 76') Little (C) (Scott 88'), Hemp (Stanway 88'), White