Japan came from behind to gain the upper hand in the last sixteen game with the Netherlands before bowing out to a late penalty, as the Dutch progressed to play Italy who had eliminated China.
The Dutch had begun well and were ahead from a 17th minute free kick, Lieke Martens’ unorthodox flick going in off the far post.
Yuika Sugasawa hit the post soon after but just before the break Japan had their equaliser, Yui Hasegawa finishing off some intricate passing.
With the Nadeshiko gradually gaining control, Hina Sugita hit the bar and Yuka Momiki was denied by Sari van Veenendaal.
However, when Saki Kumagai was unable to get her arm out of the way of Vivianne Miedema’s shot, Martens put away the resulting penalty.
Italy scored in either half against a wasteful China to reach the quarter-finals.
Valentina Giacinti had already seen an effort of hers disallowed for offside before she did open the scoring, Peng Shimeng only parrying Elisa Bartoli’s shot to her.
Valentina Bergamaschi brought a fine diving save out of Shimeng, China’s best chance coming from Liu Shanshan’s well-struck half-volley which Laura Giuliani tipped over.
Aurora Galli doubled the lead from distance 5 minutes into the second half, with the Steel Roses not proving clinical enough to get back into the game.
Quarter-finals (UK times)
27 June – Norway v England (8pm)
28 June – France v USA (8pm)
29 June – Italy v Netherlands (2pm), Germany v Sweden (5.30pm)