Japan's campaign ends
Colonia Del Sacramento: Japan's hopes of adding to their 2014 title were dashed after they lost 4-3 on penalties to New Zealand in their FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup quarter-final after the match finished 1-1 on Saturday.
Japan had dominated the tie, controlling 63 percent of possession but had few chances as New Zealand registered their first win in four meetings over the East Asians to advance to the semi-finals for the first time, where they will face Spain who ended DPR Korea's challenge earlier in the day.
The Kiwis moved in front with a well-worked corner kick straight off the training ground. The ball was played on the ground towards captain Aneka Mittendorff, who then let the it roll between her legs to fall perfectly into the path of Amelia Abbott, who unleashed a shot from just inside the penalty area into the far corner of the net.
New Zealand then nearly took a two-goal lead when Maggie Jenkins broke free on goal but her shot struck the crossbar, much to the relief of Japan goalkeeper Shu Ohba.
For large parts of the first half New Zealand nullified Japan's attack and prevented them from moving the ball around the pitch with ease.
However, the Little Nadeshiko found their way back into the match when Momoka Kinoshita's shot on goal was unintentionally bundled over the line by New Zealand defender Hannah Mackay-Wright for an own goal in the 31st minute.
Japan were able to string together more fluid sequences of passing in the second half, but New Zealand defended their goal superbly and prevented any clear-cut scoring opportunities until the very end of regulation time, when Leat saved a shot from Momo Nakao to send the match to a penalty shootout.
Leat then carried her impressive form into the shootout, where she saved the first shot and then eventually scored the winning penalty.
New Zealand will face Spain in the semi-finals on Wednesday at the Estadio Charrua.
Sources: FIFA.com, FIFA via Getty Images