Two targets in two first-half minutes gave Japan a 2-0 win over Costa Rica at Dunedin Stadium to all however safe the 2011 champions a spot within the knockout rounds of the Ladies’s World Cup.
The Nadeshiko reprised the bubbling passing sport of their opening 5-0 win over Zambia and can progress to the final 16 for the fourth straight World Cup if Spain, as anticipated, beat the African aspect in Wednesday’s later Group C sport in Auckland.
Taking part in by way of Mina Tanaka in a sophisticated midfield function relatively than playmaker Yui Hasegawa as that they had towards Zambia, Japan had been already properly within the ascendant earlier than the double blow that knocked the stuffing out of the Central People.
Left winger Hikaru Naomoto struck first within the twenty fifth minute, pouncing on a slip from Maria Paula Coto and storming into the realm earlier than stroking the ball into the online previous the dive of goalkeeper Daniela Solera.
Two minutes later, teenager Aoba Fujino turned a defender on the appropriate wing, ran immediately at aim and beat Solera at her close to submit from a decent angle.
Costa Rica, who had been crushed 3-0 by Spain of their opener, had been barely in a position to land a blow on their opponents and it seemed from then on solely a matter of many targets Japan would rack up.
Regardless of having 25 makes an attempt on aim, nevertheless, Japan had been unable so as to add to their tally – a shortcoming which may concern coach Futoshi Ikeda with harder challenges mendacity forward.
Japan face Spain in Wellington on Monday in a match that can virtually definitely determine which of the 2 sides high the group, whereas Costa Rica will play Zambia in Hamilton similtaneously each side proceed to hunt their first World Cup win.