The FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 came to an end with Japan beating USA in penalty kicks.
Japan became World Cup champions in Frankfurt, Germany July 17 and also the first Asian nation to win the World Cup.
It was Japan’s, the smallest team in the tournament, first appearance in the Final, who beat the two-time world champions in penalty kicks. The close game was definitely no relaxing Sunday match– fans were kept on their toes throughout the entire match as the two teams went goal for goal.
By the 70th minute, Alex Morgan, 22, of USA, made the first goal. The crowed roared, “Go USA.” But by the 80th minute, Japan’s Aya Miyama tied up the score with a goal. The crowd went wild once again, this time with cheers of, “Nippon.”
The game went into extra time during which, United States player, Abby Wambach brought USA ahead once again as she got a serve from Morgan and hit it in with her head. No sooner did the Japanese prove that patience is no weakness– by the 114th minute, Sawa put a ball through for Kinga, tying up the score once again. The game became heated and emotions were running high which became evident by the 120th minute when Azusa Iwashimizu took down Alex Morgan from behind resulting in the first red card drawn.
5:15 p.m. EST brought on the penalty kicks. Japan’s Miyama scored first, getting one passed the USA goalie Hope Solo and putting Japan ahead. No sooner did Japan’s Sakaguchi score to put Japan up 2-0 in penalty kicks. Wambach, of USA, managed to score a penalty kick to keep the team in the game, but only for a moment– Kumagai, 20, of Japan, calmly took her position on the field and scored to allow Japan to become first time World Cup champions.
“Thank you for your support,” said Japan’s Sawa politely, following the win.
Abby Wambach, of USA, said of the game, “Evidently it wasn’t meant to be.” She added of Japan’s win,” I think their country is very proud of them.”
Although a smile wasn’t on her face, USA’s goalie Hope Solo still has hope, she told a reporter, “It’s my goal to win a World Cup” and says she will stick around until that happens.
The game followed USA defeating France, while Japanese defeated Sweden– Both losing teams played each other in third-place game July 16, with Sweden ending victorious.