The U.S. Under-20 Women’s national team fell to Japan 3-1 in the team’s final group stage match of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Alajuela, Costa Rica on Wednesday night.

The result eliminated the Americans, who finished third din Group D with a rather disappointing 1-2 record. Japan finished first and Netherlands second in the group and will advance to the knockout stage.

The USA came into the match needing a two-goal victory over Japan to advance and had several quality chances in an evenly played first half. The USA’s best chance came early after forward Ally Sentnor weaved her way through several defenders and shot from the top of the penalty box. The ball took a big deflection off a Japan defender, wrong-footing goalkeeper Shu Ohba, but she recovered and scrambled to push the ball outside the post to deny what would have been a momentum-changing score for the U.S.

While the USA strung together a few quality attacks early in the second half, it was Japan that scored first, netting a crucial goal courtesy of forward Manaka Matsukobo after a turnover and quick counterattack inside the USA’s half.

Japan doubled its lead 12 minutes later, this time off a corner kick which ended with defender Shinomi Koyama burying a powerful strike from the left side of the penalty box.

The U.S. players showed heart and tenacity as they continued their attacking efforts and had a few more quality chances before narrowing the deficit in the 70th when forward Alyssa Thompson played a cross into the box from the right wing that forward Simone Jackson finished on her first touch from five yards out. It was Jackon’s first goal of the World Cup.

Japan, however, struck again in the 84th minute with a close-range header from defender Haruna Tabata following a long cross into the box. The play was initially ruled offside but was changed to goal following a VAR review.

Both teams had 12 shots and earned three corner kicks, but Japan, like the Netherlands in the USA’s second group game, was far more clinical in the attacking third. The USA held a slight edge in possession, 52 percent to 48, but the defending U-20 Women’s World Cup champion (Japan won in 2018) had six shots on goal to just four for the USA.

In the other match in Group D, the Netherlands routed Ghana 4-1 to cement their second-place finish in the group as Japan claimed first with an unbeaten nine-point run over its three matches.