Japan's advanced, along with fellow Asian Football Confederation representatives Australia, to the last eight as one of the two best third-placed teams.
We find out how the final matchday in the group stage turned out for Japan, China PR and Australia.
Nadeshiko stay in the hunt for home Olympics triumph
Mina Tanaka scored the only goal of the game in the 77th minute after they went into the game needing all three points to ensure progress. A tough challenge lies in wait for Nadeshiko in the as they face Sweden -- the only team to advance with a perfect record from the group stages.
The Swedes defeated the Americans, Australia and New Zealand on their way to the quarters to prove their strength. But Japan will be buoyed by the prospect of winning a first Olympic gold in front of their home crowd -- 10,000 of them who were in the stands for the first time in Rifu on Tuesday.
The 2011 world champions, Japan reached the semifinals in 2008 and the final in 2012. But in Tokyo, Nadeshiko are looking to restore their pride after failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics in 2016.
China's fall from grace evident in exit at Tokyo
After making it to the 2020 Olympics only by narrowly defeating South Korea in a two-legged playoff, China were not expected to advance far in the tournament. Yet, their pronounced fall was sealed with an 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Netherlands -- a team the Steel Roses defeated on their way to the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015. The two sides have been in a contrast in fortunes since.
China, an eight-time Asian champion and silver medalists at the 1996 Olympics, have regressed in recent years, evident from the 17 goals they have shipped against the Oranje, Zambia and Brazil on their way to finishing at the bottom of Group F.
The Olympic exit should be a rude awakening for Jia Xiuquan's China as teams around them, both in Asia and outside, have moved forward while they have been standing still.
The Chinese can draw inspiration from none other than the Dutch Lionesses, who have been on an upward trajectory in recent years first by finishing runners-up in only their second World Cup appearance in 2019, and now establishing themselves as huge favourites for the gold on their Olympics debut.
Australia progress after fighting display against world champions
Australia coach Tony Gustavsson had vowed that his team will continue playing their attacking game in their crucial fixture against a strong United States side. And the Matildas delivered on that promise on the Kashima Soccer Stadium pitch on Tuesday.
Though the result was a goalless draw despite Gustavsson's side leading when it came to the number of efforts and amount of possession, it was enough for the Australian women to confirm a place in the knockouts as a third-placed side alongside the hosts.
Australia's chances of qualification were in the balance after a 4-2 defeat to Sweden in their second Group G fixture, but they put on a show against the U.S. and struck the woodwork through 18-year-old Mary Fowler in the first half.
Though the U.S. had a goal ruled out by the VAR for offside, they did not pose much of a threat to the Aussies as both sides booked a place in the eight.