Two long balls, two sharp finishes and Brazil's hopes of its first Olympic gold were over.
Japan's 2-0 victory Friday means it will travel to Manchester for a semifinal against France and a chance to add an Olympic medal to the World Cup it won last year in Germany.
It created few chances, but strikers Yuki Ogimi and Shinobu Ohno took them when it mattered, midway through each half.
Brazilian coach Jorge Barcellos was bitter after the defeat, which ensured the country's worst showing in an Olympics many predicted it would win. The team, featuring superstar Marta, must now rebuild for 2016, when Brazil hosts the games.
"To see our team have so many opportunities and not score, and see the other team playing only at the back and scoring two goals, is a tragedy," he said. "The football that Japan presented didn't deserve to win. We will have to work a lot during the next four years before 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. We want to get the title there."
Playing in front of 28,000 in Cardiff, Brazil settled more quickly, its height and power causing problems for the Japanese. The team won five corners in the first 10 minutes, the final one whipped into the box by Marta and only just cleared away thanks to a one-handed punch by keeper Miho Fukumoto.
This Monday, members of the seminal metal band X Japan were in Odaiba rubbing shoulders with the likes of Brad Pitt, Lady Gaga and AKB48′s Yuko Oshima. The catch? They were all made out of wax. (Japan Times )
The parents of a nightclub worker killed in an arson fire three years ago filed a suit in the Nagoya District Court on Monday seeking damages against top members of the Yamaguchi-gumi organized crime group. (Tokyo Reporter )
Kyodo News said Monday that it has dismissed Satoshi Kondo, 51, deputy chief of its general administration bureau and former personnel affairs division chief, for meeting individually with a female student searching for a job and doing an inappropriate act.
(Jiji Press )