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After lighting up FIFA Women's World Cup, perhaps 2023 just was not Japan's time yet

For the 450 minutes or so that Japan graced the massive stage that is the FIFA Women's World Cup, few would argue they have not been one of the most exciting sides at the tournament.

Barring an hour or so in Friday's quarterfinal against Sweden, where they were uncharacteristically hesitant, lacklustre and even passive.

Unfortunately for Nadeshiko, those 60 minutes were ultimately pivotal as it was the period where the Swedes would establish a two-goal lead that proved crucial in a 2-1 victory that saw them advance to the last four -- despite a stirring rally from the Japanese.