Football Features

England’s perfect revenge? Japan’s remarkable World Cup record is on the line in Group D’s decider

By Ben Green

Published: 15:11, 18 June 2019

England will be looking to secure top spot in Group D when they collide with Japan in the Women’s World Cup on Wednesday.

The Lionesses have made a perfect start to France 2019, so far clinching maximum reward against both Scotland and Argentina, which places them atop the group.

Their opponents for the concluding match at the Allianz Riviera will see them take on Nadeshiko Japan, who are also unbeaten, drawing against Albicelestes, while beating Shelley Kerr’s Scotland.

Interestingly, a win here for England will not only see them top the group for only the second time in WWC history, but it would also represent an exact repeat of Germany 2011 when they finished first in Group B ahead of eventual winners Japan.

With that, read on for England vs Japan live stream options, stats and TV channel info.

When is England vs Japan?

Competition: Fifa Women’s World Cup

Venue: Allianz Riviera

Date: Wednesday, 19 June

Kick-off: 8:00 PM BST

Where can I watch live?

UK residents will be able to watch England vs Japan on BBC One, channel 101 on Sky and Virgin Media. Channel 115 for HD on Sky, and channel 108 for HD on Virgin Media. UK users can also stream the match via BBC iPlayer.

Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.

Match preview

The match in Nice promises to be a lively affair with Phil Neville, no doubt, eager to ensure England make it through the group stages unbeaten, but they face a tough prospect in Japan, who won the tournament in 2011 and came runners-up in 2015.

Asako Takakura’s side were notably lacklustre against Argentina in the opening match but reverted to their usual panache in the 2-1 win over Scotland last Friday.

The Lionesses followed up from a 2-1 win of their own against the nation’s neighbours by triumphing 1-0 against Argentina, thanks to a second-half goal from Jodie Taylor, which ultimately confirmed qualification to the round-of-16.

Japan could finish first in Group D should they claim three points against England but they could also place third should they lose to Neville’s side and Argentina beat Scotland by a margin of more than one goal.

This fixture has been unpredictable in the past, with the previous three World Cup encounters ending with a different result: a win either way and a draw. Wednesday’s result, therefore, is anyone’s guess.

Will England strike again?

Japan are currently on an unbeaten run of five group stage matches in the Women’s World Cup, winning four and drawing once, with their last defeat coming against England in a 2-0 loss back in 2011.

So, can the Lionesses roll back the years and strike twice against the former world champions? Well, they have already defeated Japan this year alone, claiming an emphatic 3-0 victory in the SheBelieves Cup back in March.

England went on to win the stateside tournament earlier this year, and so, Neville will take great encouragement knowing his side have the capacity to pull off results of this magnitude against the Japanese.

Coupled with England’s impressive World Cup record in recent years, seven wins from their last eight matches – with all those victories coming by way of a one-goal margin – the Lionesses will certainly feel they possess all the requisite quality to finish Group D on a high note.

Can England exact revenge?

Despite the recent 3-0 thrashing of Japan, the last time these two sides met in a Women’s World Cup competition, the Asian nation beat England 2-1 in Canada 2015, a result that knocked Mark Sampson’s side out of the semi-finals.

With the match heavily poised at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, a 92nd-minute own goal from Laura Bassett gifted Norio Sasaki’s side the winner and a place in the final.

A similar result along the French Riviera won’t quite have the same calamitous effect as it did four years ago but England will want to ensure they don’t suffer a second successive defeat in World Cup matches to the Japanese.