Japan defeated Costa Rica 2-0 in the second Group C match of the tournament at Dunedin Stadium in Dunedin, New Zealand, on the 26th.
Japan, which won 5-0 against Zambia in the first leg, secured six points early and won a ticket to the round of 16 as Spain beat Zambia in the ensuing match.
Japan, ranked 11th in the FIFA rankings, is a women’s soccer powerhouse that won the 2011 tournament and was runner-up in 2015.
Costa Rica, ranked 36th in the FIFA rankings, played in the World Cup for the second time since the 2015 tournament, but was eliminated after losing 0-3 to Spain in the first round and losing two consecutive games.
The advance to the round of 16 for the first time in the World Cup is also expected to come next.
Japan scored the first goal without missing an opponent’s defensive error.
In the 25th minute of the first half, Costa Rica’s Maria Paulo Coto tried to kick the ball with a tackle, but it didn’t get caught. Then Japan’s Naomoto Hikaru drove the ball into the left penalty area and accurately stabbed the bottom of the opposite net with a left-footed shot.
Japan even scored an additional goal two minutes later.
Fujino Aoba, born in 2004, overcame a physical fight with his opponent from the right side and drove the ball directly into the penalty area near the goal line and finished with a right-footed shot. The ball that left Fujino’s foot went into the corner of the opposite net, cutting through a narrow corner between the goalkeeper and the goalpost.
Fujino became the first Japanese player to score in her teens in the Women’s World Cup history.
In another Group C match at Eden Park in Auckland, New Zealand, Spain defeated Zambia 5-0 and secured a ticket to the round of 16.
Spain, ranked sixth in the FIFA rankings, also secured six points with a complete victory following a 3-0 victory over Costa Rica in the first group stage.
Spain, which reached the World Cup finals for the first time in the 2015 tournament, will reach the round of 16 for the second time in a row following the last tournament.
On the other hand, Zambia, ranked 77th in the FIFA rankings, lost 0-5 to Japan in its first group match and 0-5 to Spain on the same day, losing five runs and no points in two consecutive games.
Zambia, which made it to the World Cup finals for the first time in its history, felt a high barrier to advancing to the round of 16.
Spain opened the door in the 9th minute of the first half with a picturesque right-footed mid-range shot by midfielder Teresa Aveyeira near the penalty arc in front of the net.
Four minutes later, Henifer Hermoso, a leading striker who rushed in from the other side of the cross from the left penalty area, finished with a header right in front of the net.
Spain, which finished 2-0 in the first half, began bombing goals again in the 24th minute of the second half.
Striker Alba Redondo, who stepped on the ground from the second half, ran down the line and received a pass distributed from the midfield near the penalty line. 안전놀이터
Redondo overcame defense and physical fights, broke through the penalty area, beat the goalkeeper, and shook the net with his left foot from the left side of the penalty area.
Spain immediately scored their fourth goal.
A minute later, in the 25th minute of the second half, Hermoso scored a multi-goal with a left-footed shot from the ball that hit the goalpost, celebrating his 100th A-match appearance.
In the 40th minute of the second half, Redondo scored multiple goals with a right-footed shot following chest trapping.
Zambia played two warm-up matches against South Korea in April this year, and South Korea won both 5-2, 5-0.
Spain, which had a goal against Zambia, was ranked first in Group C.
Japan (6 points, goal difference +7) has the same points as Spain (6 points, goal difference +8), but has been pushed back in goal difference, ranking second.
Costa Rica (0 points, goal difference -5) and Zambia (0 points, goal difference -10) who lost two games side by side were placed in the third and fourth places.
The final Group C match between Costa Rica and Zambia, Japan and Spain will be held on the 31st.
Japan and Spain compete for the top spot in Group C.
The first place in Group C is the second place in Group A, and the second place in Group C is the schedule to meet the first place in Group A in the round of 16.
In Group A, Switzerland ranked first, followed by New Zealand (0 goal difference) and the Philippines (-1 goal difference) with three points, followed by Norway with one point.