Japan through to Olympic final

Japan moved to within one win of completing a Women's World Cup and Olympic double after beating France 2-1 to reach the London 2012 final.

Last Updated: 06/08/12 at 20:11 Post Comment

Japan women: Through to Olympic final

Japan women: Through to Olympic final

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Last summer's World Cup winners set up a gold medal match against the United States or Canada as they clung on desperately to win this afternoon's semi-final at Wembley, Elise Bussaglia missing a penalty that would have taken the game to extra-time.

Japan punished woeful set-piece defending to go 2-0 ahead, Sarah Bouhaddi's horrible howler gifting Yuki Ogimi the opening goal and non-existent marking allowing Mizuho Sakaguchi to double the lead.

France then went for broke, substitute Eugenie Le Sommer scoring with 14 minutes remaining and winning a penalty two minutes later, but they were ultimately left to fight it out for a bronze medal shortly before Thursday's final.

Japan, whose previous best Olympic performance was fourth place four years ago, came into today's game buoyed by Friday's quarter-final victory against Brazil.

They looked to get their renowned possession game going early on but suffered a seventh-minute scare when goalkeeper Miho Fukumoto horribly spilt a powder-puff shot from Louisa Necib, with no-one on hand to follow-up.

After Wendie Renard was booked for an ugly studs-up challenge on Shinobu Ohno, France keeper Bouhaddi produced an even worse error when she let Aya Miyama's 32nd-minute free-kick slip through her fingers.

Ogimi poked the loose ball goalward and although Sandrine Soubeyrand was on the line, the forward bundled it in.

Fukumoto got away with the first of several unconvincing punches as Japan maintained their lead, the world champions doubling it four minutes after the break thanks to another free-kick.

This time, Bouhaddi had her defence to blame as they went AWOL to allow Sakaguchi to glance another clipped Miyama free-kick into the far corner.

France threw on Le Sommer and Camille Abily, with Corine Franco, Marie-Laure Delie and Necib all wasting more than once chance to pull a goal back, although the latter could have done so but for an excellent low reaction save from Fukumoto.

The rampant French finally made their dominance pay six minutes later when Le Sommer smashed home Elodie Thomis' right-wing cutback.

Two minutes later, Sakaguchi tripped Le Sommer in the box and referee Quetzalli Alvarado pointed to the spot, but Bussaglia crumbled under the pressure, steering wide.

There was more drama to come, Delie unable to punish a poor punch and Ogimi hitting the post on the break before Fukumoto threw herself at a Renard shot in the fourth and final minute of stoppage-time.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

There are no results at present.

Footer 365

Premiership: Chelsea's Diego Costa to return against Manchester City

Diego Costa will return for Chelsea's Sky Live showdown with Manchester City on Sunday.

Euro 2020: Wembley to host final and semi-finals

Wembley has been chosen to stage the final and semi-finals of Euro 2020, while Dublin and Glasgow will also host games.

Euro 2020: FA chairman happy after Wembley awarded tournament finale

Greg Dyke was delighted with UEFA’s decision to award the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 to Wembley.

Mail Box

Be Careful What You Wish For, Gooners

That's the message from a Man United fan in the mailbox. Plus, thoughts on Paul Lambert's new contract, the Alan Pardew dilemma at Newcastle and lots more...

No, Wenger IS To Blame For Failure...

The backlash to the backlash to the backlash sees Arsene Wenger getting a good kicking while we also have mails on Chelsea, Newcastle, Everton and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property