Hinata Miyazawa scoring Japan’s third goal.Credit…Amanda Perobelli/Reuters

Japan has rarely run into problems in this Women’s World Cup, and in the fleeting moments things have looked close, its strategy has held firm: Press forward, attack, go for goals again and again.

Now, that aggression has the Japanese in line to face either Sweden or the United States in a quarterfinal after they picked apart Norway, 3-1, on Saturday night.

Not even Norway’s star striker Ada Hegerberg could counter the Japanese push as a late substitute. Hegerberg, the 2018 Ballon D’Or winner, had been dealing with a groin injury but entered the game with roughly 20 minutes left and Norway stepping up its attack.

Hinata Miyazawa solved for that quickly, just as it looked like Norway might tie the game. Miyazawa, with a quick, explosive burst, sprinted past Thea Bjelde and created enough space to slow down and size up one precise strike with her left foot to give Japan a two-goal lead.

So, what did Japan do with that newfound comfort? Press more, attack more and limit Norway’s chances to turn the tables. Norway got close for a moment with a crowd in front of the goal, but Ayaka Yamashita saved a header from Karina Saevik in spectacular fashion to keep Japan’s margin intact.

Norway’s only goal, which tied the game at 1 in the first half, was the first and only score that Japan has conceded in this tournament, a swift play from end to end.

But for so much of the game, especially before Hegerberg entered, that 15-second burst stood as the only sustained offense for the Norwegians as the Japanese pressed again and again.

Risa Shimizu scored on an aggressive takeaway, and Japan’s first score was an own goal by Ingrid Syrstad Engen as she stuck out a boot to try to stop Miyazawa from creating an opening.

Miyazawa, a newfound star who had only one goal in 20 games for her club in the Japanese league last season, got her fifth goal in this World Cup, the most of any player in this tournament. That tied Homare Sawa for the most goals by a Japanese player in a World Cup, a mark Sawa reached in 2011. Japan won the championship that year by defeating the United States in a penalty shootout.

Going into this tournament, Japan was seen as a solid club that was perhaps less intimidating than some of the biggest powers in the sport. It lost some games as it prepared for this tournament, including matches against the United States, Brazil and Spain. But its strategy looked more fully developed in wins against Canada and Portugal ahead of the World Cup, and Japan breezed through its group.

Its 4-0 victory against Spain was the strongest performance any team had in the group stage, and with its win against Norway, Japan showed it will be difficult to slow down.

Of course, the United States and Sweden will want that task. But they’ll have to clinch the showdown first.

And Japan will welcome the winner, knowing that its stock has risen higher, at least so far, than any team in this World Cup.