Connect with us


Japan Blanks Costa Rica at FIFA Women's World Cup

With back-to-back FIFA Women's World Cup victories in New Zealand, Japan has secured a spot in the quadrennial tournament's round of 16.



FIFA Women's World Cup
Hikaru Naomoto scores Japan's first goal in the 25th minute against Costa Rica in a FIFA Women's World Cup Group C match on July 26 in Dunedin, New Zealand. (KYODO)

Read the full story on SportsLook - Japan Blanks Costa Rica at FIFA Women's World Cup

Two goals in rapid succession in the first half lifted Nadeshiko Japan to a 2-0 victory over Costa Rica at the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup on Wednesday, July 26 in Dunedin, New Zealand.

Hikaru Naomoto booted the ball into the net in the 25th minute, and teenage teammate Aoba Fujino made it 2-0 in the 27th minute.

Manager Futoshi Ikeda's squad has outscored its first two Group C opponents 7-0 at the quadrennial tournament. 

Up next: Japan faces world No 6 Spain in the teams' final group stage match on Monday, July 31 in Wellington, starting at 4 PM JST.

With back-to-back wins in New Zealand, including a 5-0 rout of Zambia on July 22, Japan has booked a spot in the round of 16 at the 32-nation Women's World Cup.

Against Zambia and Costa Rica, who are ranked 77th and 36th, respectively in the world, Ikeda's squad outshot its opponents 26-0 and 24-6.

Japan launched 12 shots on target to Costa Rica's two. In addition, world No 11 Japan controlled possession 57% of the time.

It added up to a methodical win for Japan, which won the 2011 Women's World Cup. (Watch match highlights on the FIFA Women's World Cup website.)

FIFA Women's World Cup
Japan's Aoba Fujino scores a first-half goal against Costa Rica. (REUTERS/via KYODO)

Preparation Pays Off for Japan

Ikeda said preparation was a key for his squad against Costa Rica, which lost 3-0 to Spain on July 21.

Continue reading the full story on SportsLook.

Author: Ed Odeven


Find Ed on JAPAN Forward's dedicated website, SportsLook. Follow his [Japan Sports Notebook] on Sundays, [Odds and Evens] during the week, and Twitter @ed_odeven

Subscribe to Ed Odeven's weekly sports newsletter.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Our Partners