White's brace gives England comfort win over Japan to top Group D

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NICE, France, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Ellen White's brace gave England a comfort 2-0 win over arch rivals Japan here on Wednesday and helped the last FIFA Women's World Cup third-placer seal a top finish in Group D of France 2019.

Georgia Stanway slotted a brilliant through and White sent the ball into the bottom corner in the 14th minute, just having enough pace on it to outrange Japanese captain Saki Kumagai's onrushing effort.

The Birmingham City striker's second goal of the game came with six minute from time, when second-half substitute Karen Carney found space between Japan's defense. White raced onto it to slide the ball in.

It made the 30-year-old White, who was elected the Player of the Match, the seventh player to have scored three goals or more so far in this tournament.

Earlier in the evening, a ninth minute free kick saw Kumi Yokoyama make a direct shooting effort to destine for the top corner before England's Manchester City goalie Karen Bardsley tipped it onto the crossbar.

Following White's breakthrough, two big saves from Ayaka Yamashita prevented Japan from further trailing, as Jill Scott drilled to force a dive at 18 and her Manchester City teammate Stanway powered a curling shot one minute later.

More heroic saves were performed by Yamashita while Japan came out fighting in the second half, creating more chances and pushing England back for long, but the Lionesses stayed in the game till White took her chance.

With the 2-0 victory, England advanced to the last 16 as the Group D leaders with three wins from as many matches. Japan finished second on four points, having beat Scotland and tied with Argentina in the previous games. Enditem

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