The Women’s World Cup started with two Liverpool representatives but at the quarter-final stage only one remains, meaning Fuka Nagano is three wins away from glory.
All eyes are on action in New Zealand and Australia as the Women’s World Cup reaches its crucial stages, with the final eight to be locked in by Tuesday.
But Liverpool’s Nagano has already sealed her place in the quarter-final thanks to Japan’s 3-1 victory over Norway on Saturday.
The 24-year-old played the full 90 minutes in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital, as Japan progressed to the World Cup’s last eight for the fourth time in their history.
The last time they did so they went on to reach the final, a good omen to have, although they fell to defeat at the hands of the United States, who they could now meet in the quarter-finals.
Japan have now reached the quarter-final stage in three of the last four Women's World Cup tournaments:
? 2019: L16
— Squawka Live (@Squawka_Live) August 5, 2023
USA will face Sweden on Sunday and the winner will meet Nagano’s Japan in Auckland on August 11, with one of Spain, South Africa or the Netherlands waiting in the semi-finals.
It is an exciting time for Nagano, who has played 255 of a possible 360 minutes in the tournament so far.
Liverpool captain Niamh Fahey was the club’s other representative in the competition but was knocked out in the group stages after Ireland finished fourth in Group B with a solitary point.
Matt Beard’s side start their league campaign on October 1, leaving plenty of time for Nagano to take a break before returning for the new season should Japan make it to the final on August 20.
Nagano joined the Reds in January and has proved an exciting addition to the midfield.