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Sunday, July 17, 2011

Japan Wins Women's World Cup of Soccer

Women's World Cup soccer final between the USA and Japan in Frankfurt, Germany, July 17, 2011.

The game started off with a flurry of USA activity, hard strikes and bad luck and some fine tending by the Japanese goalie. Headers going high, crosses to the middle with strikers putting the ball high, Japan was quite lucky to escape the first half in a 0-0 draw, with the USA out-shooting Japan 12-5. That's shots - not shots on goal, but the USA dominated that, too.

Japan did hold an edge in ball possession, but to be fair to the USA, Japan held the ball a lot in their own end, with no rush to move the ball forward. In the 69th minute the USA takes the lead - effectively taking the wind from the Japanese team's sails.

But... out of nowhere - but really thanks to some offensive fore checking, Japan forced the USA defens to make a mistake, costing them possession of the ball. The result - a Japanese tying goal. I believe it was at the 84th minute.

For two minutes after that, Japan pressured the USA driving forward like they were attacking Pearl Harbour (what - too soon for that joke?)... but the Americans held them off and starting pressure on their own... Japan was good to hold off the USA.

At the end of 90 minutes (plus 2 minutes of extra time), Japan and the USA played two 15-minute halves to settle the draw.

Thirteen minutes into the first overtime period, the USA scores - deflating Japan... and likewise, the USA maintain its pressure for the rest of the half.

Eleven minutes in to the second OT period, Japan equalizes on a corner kick.

Penalty shots:
USA shots first - to goalie's left - goal post!
Japan - goal down middle toward goalies left!!

USA - 2nd shot - blasted over the net!!
Japan shot - Solo leaps low to her right for the save!
Japan up 1-0 after two shots

USA - 3rd shot - Japanese goalie dives to her right - save!
Japan - shot of right of USA goal - she gets a hand on it, but IN! Goal!

USA - 4th - shot - Goal!
Japan - if they score - they win.... top right corner! Goal!

Japan wins thanks to a 3-1 in penalty shots... 2-2 final! Japan win's the 2011 Women's World Cup of soccer!!!
By Andrew Joseph

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