Japan stuns Americans to capture 2011 Women's World Cup title
In dramatic fashion captain Homare Sawa flicked home the tying goal off a corner in the 117th minute before Japan outscored the USA 3-1 in penalties to capture the 2011 Women’s World Cup Final Sunday in Frankfurt, Germany.
The victory allowed Japan to post its first win over the USA and also becomes the first Asian nation to win the Women’s World Cup.
The game was tied 2-2 after extra time.
The tying marker was too much for the USA to overcome after twice taking one-goal leads.
The Americans missed the first three penalties in shootout and when Saki Kumagai slotted the final shot high past goalkeeper Hope Solo the title belonged to Japan.
After a scoreless first half, Alex Morgan gave Team USA a 1-0 lead as the second half substitute out ran the Japanese defence before drilling a low shot into the net past keeper Ayumi Kaihori.
Japan tied the game late in the second half to force extra time when Aya Miyama scored in the 81st minute.
A miscue by the American defence allowed to tap the ball past Team USA goalkeeper Hope Solo.
Team USA once again took the lead when Morgan sped around the Japanese defence before sending a pinpoint cross to striker Abby Wamback who headed the ball past Kaihori.
The Americans will look back at this contest as one they felt would be theirs after missing numerous chances in the first part of the game.
Team USA has no less than seven great scoring opportunities but came away empty.
In the bronze medal game Saturday, Sweden scored a late goal in the second half to edge France 2-1.
Team Canada entered the 2011 tournament with high expectations but lost all three games to Germany, France and Nigeria.
Team Canada has four years to prepare before hosting the 2015 tournament.
No less than seven cities, including Vancouver, will host games.
FIFA inspectors will begin examining venues in the cities involved — Vancouver, Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton and Moncton — this fall.
The next FIFA World Cup for male athletes will be held in Brazil in 2014.