MEN'S RESULTS: Japan was content to upset tournament favorites Brazil, it wanted to do the same to Nigeria.
But with the Florida Citrus Bowl teeming with Japanese fans, their flags and hundreds of colorful banners, the former African champions didn't let it happen.
Nigeria fought off a spirited Japan effort, finally scored in the 82nd minute and added an insurance goal one minute from the end on a penalty kick for a 2-0 victory.
Nigeria now sits on the top of Group D with four points and will play Brazil, 3-1 winner over Hungary, on Thursday.
At the end of a 30-minute second-half spell in which Nigeria attacked the Japanese defense in droves, Tijani Babangida timed a long pass from midfielder Sunday Oliseh and guided the ball past goalkeeper Yosi Kawaguchi, off a defender and into the open net.
Ahead 1-0, Nigeria kept attacking and got the second goal just before the final whistle on a penalty when Japanese defender Hideto Suzuki handled the ball in the box. Midfielder Augustine Okacha buried the penalty kick for the final margin.
_ Staff writer Roger Mills contributed to this report.