The Japanese women national team, Nadeshiko came out on top in a friendly game against Norway on Sunday in preparation for the 2019 FIFA women’s world cup. Forward ManaIwabuchi was the cream of the crop for Japan.

Japan started on the front foot, when forward Kumi Yokoyama gave them an early lead in the 16th minute, courtesy of a well-placed shot, sending the Japanese fans into ecstasy at the Tottori Bird Stadium. The manager and the fans were visibly excited to see their team take the lead so early in the game.

ManaIwabuchi followed up 11 minutes later, marauding through the Norwegian defense, dribbling past two defenders to fire one past goalkeeper Ingrid Hjelmseth into the bottom right corner of the net. Japan went into the break with a two goal lead.

After the break, ManaIwabuchi chipped in with her second goal of the match, after receiving a deft pass from midfielder Emi Nakajima. Super sub Yuka Momiki came off the bench moments later to seal the victory firing one past a helpless Hjelmseth, after replacing Iwabuchi.

Just when we thought we had seen the last of the goals, Ina Gausdal managed to ghost through Ayaka Yamashita, pulling one back for Norway very late in the second half.

“We got a little pressure from our opponent in the first half,” Nadeshiko manager AsakoTakakura said.

“In the second half, we moved the ball around at a good tempo and were able to play like Japan. We’re turning into a team that wins little by little”, Norway manager said.

Norway manger Martin Sjogren revealed that the match was illuminating for his side, praising Japan’s technique and organization.

Nadeshiko, the 2011 FIFA world cup champions and 2015 runners-up, currently lie seventh in the FIFA women’s ranking. They defeated Australia in April to win the second straight Women’s Asian Cup title.