Jun Endo wasn't allowed to play soccer outside after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster because of radiation fears, so she honed her dribbling skills in a cramped indoor hall instead.

Japan's FIFA Women's World Cup win that year inspired her to keep going, and now the forward is carrying her country's hopes into this month's tournament in Australia and New Zealand.

"I couldn't play soccer because of the effects of the disaster, but just when I was thinking of quitting, Japan won the World Cup," the 23-year-old said. "I watched that and I strongly felt that I wanted to be standing in that position one day, too."