In a crucial litmus test, Jorge Vilda fielded her strongest starting eleven, with Rocío Gálvez replacing the injured Ivana Andrés in defense. Both Spain and Japan had already secured their places in the round of 16 after registering victories against Sweden in their previous matches.
Despite a few early attempts from Spain, Japan's ironclad defense thwarted their efforts. In the 12th minute, Japan capitalized on a fast counterattack, with Miyazawa netting the opening goal. Ueki's shot in the 29th minute, aided by a deflection from Irene Paredes, added to Spain's woes, making their task even more daunting.
Spain entered halftime trailing with the bitter realization that their opponents had been more clinical with their direct approach. The second half mirrored the first, with Japan capitalizing on defensive lapses and adding a fourth goal through Tanaka.
Spain's possession dominance failed to materialize into significant chances, leaving them with a disappointing outcome and a lot to ponder as they advance to the round of 16.">