Japan beat Nigeria 270 to 100 in the quarter-final match. The turning point of the game was the staggeringly powerful shot hit by Hongo, one of the Japanese Beaters, that smashed the tail off Nigerian Seeker Samuel Equiano's broomstick. As Equiano span out of control, Sato soared through the middle of the action to seize the Snitch from the midst of distracted Nigerian players intent on saving their teammate in the 63rd minute.
Japan played Bulgaria in the semi-finals that took place on 6 July, but lost 610 to 460. The Snitch was spotted early in the game but a series of events resulted in neither team catching it. Boris Vulchanov, a Bulgarian Beater, deliberately intercepted a Bludger with his body to protect Viktor Krum, the Bulgerian Seeker. Vulchanov was knocked out and fell from his broom, only to be saved by Sato. Krum, instead of taking advantage of Sato's temporary incapacitation, Krum pulled up and let the Snitch go by. All three were commended for their great sportsmanship after Vulchanov regained consciousness. The Snitch appeared for the second time and Sato raced against Krum, but lost. Krum, however, refused to catch it because his team was so far behind. Later, Sato was led to believe that Krum was escaping Hongo's line of sight when he had really spotted the Snitch and dived for it, leading Bulgaria to victory.
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