Holders Japan have taken a giant step towards the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup quarter-finals after another 5-0 victory, this time over Paraguay. Like in their near-identical opening-match win over Ghana, the hard work was done in the first half, with Sakura Nojima scoring three of their four goals in a devastating opening 45.

Nojima hadn't featured at all against Ghana and was one of six changes to the starting XI as coach Naoki Kusunose opted to rotate his impressive squad. The alterations certainly didn't prevent Japan picking up where they had left off against the African champions, with their opening goal arriving after just four minutes. Hana Takahashi was the scorer, ghosting unmarked into the box before controlling a Miyu Tomita cross and shooting low past the helpless keeper.

Crosses from the right provided a reliable stream of chances for the reigning champions and on 28 minutes they doubled their lead from the same route. This time, a quick, jinking run and cross from Saori Takarada set up Nojima, who made no mistake with a close-range header at the back post.

Nojima was less accurate seconds later when she was guilty of one of the misses of the tournament, scooping over from inside the six-yard box with the goal at her mercy. But she wasn't deterred and extended Japan's lead six minutes before the interval when she earned and coolly converted a penalty, firing into the bottom-left corner after being brought down by Maria Vecca.

The Little Nadeshiko No21 wasn't finished, though, and she completed her hat-trick on 44 minutes with a real poacher's goal, shooting home left-footed after Takahashi had diverted Takarada's cutback into her path.

Japan, who proceeded to coast through the second half - adding a late fifth thanks to Takarada's cool finish - now go into their final Group D match against USA knowing that a point will guarantee their place in the last eight. Paraguay, meanwhile, are not officially eliminated but will need a miracle - and a thumping win over Ghana - to stand any chance of progressing.

Live Your Goals Player of the Match: Fuka Nagano (JPN)