Since their FIFA Women's World Cup debut four years ago, Yui Hasegawa and Moeka Minami have developed into the spine of a Nadeshiko Japan side who will try to end an eight-year absence from a major final at this summer's tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

A naturally versatile attacker, Hasegawa has been deployed as a deep-lying midfielder this year by manager Futoshi Ikeda. A goal and assist in a 2-1 friendly win away to Portugal on April 7 hinted that the move is beginning to pay dividends, three months out from the World Cup.

Hasegawa headed into the 2019 World Cup in France carrying an injury and missed the last two of three group-stage games. She returned to equalize against the Netherlands in a round-of-16 match that saw Japan miss a host of chances before losing 2-1 to the eventual runners-up on a late goal.