Rennes, June 26 (AP/UNB) — Tears were still flowing from Saki Kumagai's eyes more than 30 minutes later.
With victorious Dutch rivals passing her on the way out of the stadium, Japan's captain seemed to find solace in speaking about the penalty long after it cost her team a place in the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup.
With Tuesday night's game entering the 90th minute locked at 1-1, Kumagai's outstretched left arm blocked the shot Vivianne Miedema had aimed into the right side of the net.
"It hit my hand for sure," Kumagai said. "It's difficult to accept but it's also sad. I know that is football."
Referee Melissa Borjas pointed to the penalty spot and Lieke Martens netted her second goal of the game in the 90th minute to seal a 2-1 victory that sent the Netherlands into the quarterfinals for the first time.
"We have made history," Martens said. "I'm not usually taking the penalties but I felt really good this game. I asked Sherida Spitse if I could take it and she gave it directly to me and I felt quite relaxed about it."
The reigning European champions will need to maintain that composure as they prepare for a meeting with Italy on Saturday after going one stage further than their Women's World Cup debut four years ago.
"We were standing in the circle after the match and we were so happy, yelling at each other," Netherlands coach Sarina Wiegman said. "We were saying, 'Let's continue writing history.'"
It is journey's end for Japan, which won the 2011 tournament and was the runner-up four years later.
The strength of the second-half display counted for nothing.
As befitting a meeting of the Asian and European champions, the game produced some of the slickest action of the World Cup. A backheel flick set up Martens to send the Dutch in front in the 17th minute and Yui Hasegawa equalized in the 43rd to complete a slick passing move.
But the post, crossbar and goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal thwarted Japan's pursuit of a winning goal.
"I think we lacked the clinical edge," Japan coach Asako Takakura said. "We have to accept the result, we're defeated, we're very disappointed and for all the players I feel very sorry for them and frustrated."
With the last Asian team eliminated, the Women's World Cup will have a record seven European teams in the quarterfinals. Norway and England meet in Le Havre on Thursday and France takes on the United States the following night. After the Netherlands plays Italy on Saturday, Germany and Sweden will meet.
"It's really tough to be here," Netherlands forward Miedema said. "Sometimes it kind of feels like a Euros."
That is a title already won by this team, thanks to Miedema's goals in the final two years ago on home soil.
The fans won't have far to travel for the World Cup quarterfinal, with Valenciennes around two hours' drive from the Netherlands.
It will be another chance for the orange-clad fans who danced and sang their way in a convoy to the stadium on Tuesday to stamp their mark on this tournament.
They were certainly given a game to savor, and an audacious opening goal.
Martens flicked in the opener after evading her marker to meet a corner and send the ball through the legs of Yuika Sugasawa into the net.
Sugasawa had a quick chance to tie, only to hit the post. But Japan did equalize by completing an intricate move.
Hina Sugita squared across the penalty area to Yuika Sugasawa, who passed back to Mana Iwabuchi on the edge of the penalty area. After holding off Jackie Groenen on the turn, Iwabuchi slipped the ball through to Hasegawa, who was free to delicately dink a shot over Van Veenendaal into the corner of the net.
It was some way to make the most of a first shot on target for a team that failed to score in two of its three group stage games.
But parity nearly didn't last long.
Miedema received the ball from Shanice van de Sanden but with only Ayaka Yamashita to beat struck straight at the Japan goalkeeper.
Van Veenendaal came to the rescue of the Dutch in the second half by denying Emi Nakajima as Japan chased the winner.
"Japan is a world class team and you saw that today," Miedema said. "In the second half you can see they have loads of quality on the pitch."
Paris, June 26 (AP/UNB) — Kylian Mbappe is looking forward to a busy summer in 2020.
The 20-year-old France forward, who helped his national team win the World Cup last year, wants to play at both the 2020 European Championship and the Tokyo Olympics.
Soon after France qualified for the Olympic tournament by reaching the semifinals at the European Under-21 Championship this week, Mbappe wrote "Tokyo 2020" on Twitter accompanied by a joyful emoticon.
The Paris Saint-Germain striker had already expressed his interest in the Olympic tournament. Although Mbappe has never played for his country's under-21 team, he would be eligible for the Olympic squad despite not being involved in the qualification competition.
French soccer federation president Noel Le Graet told Le Parisien newspaper this week it would be up to coach Sylvain Ripoll to decide.
"It's nice that Kylian can say that," Le Graet said. "It shows he is interested in all France teams, and especially in the Olympics. Once again, it's nice. But we will need to meet him, and ask the question to Sylvain Ripoll. The decision will belong to him."
If France qualifies for the European Championship, Mbappe could be playing matches until July 12, the date of the final in London. That is only 10 days before the Olympic tournament kicks off in Japan.
France, June 26 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Italy coach Milena Bertolini gave an appraisal of "world class" on her team's defense following a groundbreaking victory at the FIFA Women's World Cup here on Tuesday.
After beating China 2-0 in round of 16, Italy reached their first ever quarterfinal since the inaugural Women's World Cup in 1991.
"Our defense is world class this evening, and I have to take off my hat to them," said Bertolini, who thought the victory offered a great gift to her 53rd birthday on Monday.
Italy just conceded two goals in four matches at the 2019 edition of quadrennial competition.
"Defending is not only the case of back four. When it comes to defending, we defend as a unit. The team all think about defending together. When we defend, it's about our mindset and mentality.
"As long as we lost the possession, we were reday to defend from forwards to the rest of the team," she noted.
For Bertolini, "The squad is made up of girls who have a lot of quality and talent. They are performing very well here in France because of that. They also have a sense of mission, which is to let the Italian public discover the women's game and appreciate it."
"That allows you to find extra energy and motivation," she said. "The team represents the whole movement of Italian women's football. Women are able to convey this football change in society day in and day out, and can lead to cultural changes ongoing in Italy. Cultural changes are always slow, but this team is able to break down prejudice and barriers, which is the mission of girls in France."
Despite having four fewer attempts than their Chinese counterparts, Italy managed a win through their clinical offense, making the most of space behind Chinese defenders.
"China approached the game in a way that we didn't expect," Bertolini admitted.
"We thought that China would shut and stop their play, but they pressed high on the pitch today. We found space behind their defensive line, which allowed us to exploit in this particular situation by playing balls in behind.
"Two Chinese center backs did better when they sat deeper, but didn't play their best when there was space behind them," she added.
"We had a great start in the opening 20-25 minutes. We wanted to press and attack them, and it was no surprise that we were able to score and had another goal ruled for offside.
"Then we started to drop back, because China came out and responded. We got a little bit scared.
"We really struggled. We had to keep a cool head because we have many technically gifted players. When it came to defending, we played well, and were very clinical in front of goal, which is very important in football," Bertolini said.
Bertolini took charge of the team in 2017.
Dhaka, June 26 (UNB) - Manchester City midfielder David Silva says he will leave the club at the end of the 2019-20 season, reports BBC.
The Spaniard, 33, has won four Premier League titles, the FA Cup twice and the League Cup four times since joining the club in 2010, playing 395 times.
He featured in 33 Premier League games last term and scored six goals as Pep Guardiola's side retained the title.
Asked if he would stay beyond next season, Silva said: "No, this is the last one."
He added: "Ten years for me is enough. It's the perfect time for me.
"Initially, City were talking about two years, but I decided to sign [for] another one, so I finished at 10 years.
"It completes the cycle. It's a nice round figure. I can never see myself playing against City for another team. So 10 years - that's it."
Madrid, June 26 (Xinhua/UNB) -- FC Barcelona and Everton have reached agreement for the permanent transfer of Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes to the English club for a fee of around 25 million euros (28 million dollars).
The move came after the 25-year-old was able to rebuild his career last season on loan at Everton after two disappointing years at Barcelona, during which he admitted he had suffered a crisis of confidence.
Everton held off a challenge from West Ham, who had also been interested in Gomes, who impressed in his 29 appearances for the club.
"Last year was a really good experience for me," said Gomez.
"I just wanted to feel part of something special and I found it here. It was good for me in that moment and right now, after signing for Everton, it's even better. I think the ambition from the club is not only for me, I think it's for all the players and the fans. We are all excited about that.
"I hope in the seasons to come we can enjoy more good football and win trophies. That's what we all want," commented the midfielder, who has signed a deal until 2024.
Meanwhile Gomes' permanent departure from Barcelona will help free up funds to finance further signings from the Liga Santander champions over the summer.
Barca are looking to offload several more players in the coming week's with Denis Suarez (who spent the second half of last season on loan at Arsenal), Malcom and perhaps Philippe Coutinho all likely to be sold as Barca look to add a left back, a central defender and a striker (almost certainly Antoine Griezmann) to their squad.