Two goals in two first-half minutes gave Japan a 2-0 win over Costa Rica at Dunedin Stadium on Wednesday to ensure the 2011 champions have a spot in the knockout rounds of the Women's World Cup.

The Nadeshiko reprised the effervescent passing game of their opening 5-0 win over Zambia and will progress to the last 16 for the fourth straight World Cup after Spain beat the African side later Wednesday.

Playing through Mina Tanaka in an advanced midfield role rather than playmaker Yui Hasegawa as they had against Zambia, Japan were already well in the ascendant before the double blow that knocked the stuffing out of the Central Americans.