Fuka Nagano started and played all 90 minutes in the midfield on Saturday when Japan cruised to an easy victory against Norway. They won 3-1, conceding their first goal of the tournament on their way to the quarterfinals.
The first half was much more even in the first half. Norway started off the scoring in the 15th minute. Unfortunately for them, it was into the wrong goal. Guro Reiten made up for it five minutes later with a header that spoiled Japan’s perfect record in the tournament. They went into the half on level terms.
The second half is where is all fell apart for Norway. Risa Shimizu scored the deciding goal only five minutes into the half, while Hinata Miyazawa put the game out of reach in the 81st minute.
Japan made history in 2011 when they became the first Asian country to bring home a World Cup trophy. In that tournament, the Japanese legend Homare Sawa was the star, scoring five goals in the tournament and leading her team to victory. Miyazawa has now matched Sawa’s five goals, putting her ahead of the German captain Alexandra Popp in the race for the Golden Boot.
Japan are set to face either Sweden or the United States in the quarterfinal. Japan came into this tournament as one of the contenders to take it all, but their consistently impressive performances over the first four games have made them the team to beat.