England finished their Women’s World Cup Group D matches in top spot and with a 100 per cent record after Ellen White’s brace steered them to a 2-0 win against Japan in Nice.
The Lionesses, who had already qualified for the last 16 and needed to avoid defeat to win the group, went ahead just before the quarter-hour mark through White’s cool finish following good work by Georgia Stanway.
White then slotted in her second, and third of the tournament, with six minutes of normal time remaining having been teed up by substitute Karen Carney.
Japan goalkeeper Ayaka Yamashita made a number of fine saves during the contest at the Allianz Riviera, after her counterpart Karen Bardsley had done well to tip a Kumi Yokoyama free-kick onto the bar in ninth minute.
Phil Neville’s England will now face a third-placed finisher in the next round – either China (Group B), or Cameroon or New Zealand (Group E), or Chile or Thailand (Group F).
Their opponents will be determined on Thursday when Groups E and F conclude, and the match will take place on Sunday in Valenciennes.
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