USA-Japan rewind

[WOMEN'S WORLD CUP FINAL] Only nine minutes away from winning the World Cup in regulation and only three minutes away in overtime, the United States fell to Japan 3-1 in a shootout in the Women's World Cup final when it missed its first three penalty kicks. Homare Sawa's goal off a corner kick in the 117th minute tied the score at 2-2.

Abby Wambach's goal off a cross from Alex Morgan in the 105th minute had given the USA a 2-1 lead. Some horrible defending had allowed Japan to equalize on a goal by Aya Miyama in the 80th minute. Morgan had scored in the 69th minute to give the USA a 1-0 lead.

3-1 Japan: Kumagai (goal)
2-1 Japan: Wambach (goal)
2-0 Japan:
Sakaguchi (goal)
Heath (saved by Kaihori)
Nagasato (saved by Solo)
Lloyd (over the crossbar)
1-0 Japan:
Miyama (goal)
Boxx (saved by Kaihori with trailing leg).

End of overtime-

Second Overtime-
122nd minute: Heath shot off scramble following free kick is blocked.

121st minute:
Iwashimizu issued red card for taking down Morgan just outside of the area.

120th minute: Wambach shoots over from close range.

Substitution-Iwaguchi on for Maruyama.

117th minute:
Sawa equalizes with goal off corner kick. (Tie 2-2)

115th minute:
Rampone clears away with Solo beaten after Kinga breaks free on pass from Sawa.

114th minute:
Substitution: Heath for Rapinoe.

112th minute:
More bad work by the U.S. defense in its area gives Japanese several chances, but they fail to connect.

109th minute:
Maruyama shoots wide from outside the area.

First Overtime-
104th minute: USA presses down left wing and Morgan finds Wambach to score on a header at the far post. (USA 2-1)

97th minute:
Yellow card to Miyama for delay of game.

96th minute:
Wambach feeds Morgan with long ball but Morgan shoots wide.

92nd minute:
Wambach's header saved by Kaihori at near post.

End of regulation-

Second Half-
89th minute: Japanese getting numbers forward but Sakaguchi shoots wide.

80th minute: Miyama equalizes from close range after Buehler fails to clear the ball. (Tie 1-1)

69th minute:
Long ball from Rapinoe finds Morgan, who beats her defender, Kumagai, and scores with her left foot. (USA 1-0).

66th minute: Substitutions-
Maruyama comes on for Ohno and Nagasato for Ando.

64th minute: Kaihori makes best save of the game to stop Wambach's header off O'Reilly's cross.

64th minute: Ohno has breakaway but is wrongly called for offside.

Stats: USA 15-5 edge in shots. Teams tied with 1 shot on goal and 3 corner kicks apiece.

52nd minute: Wambach feeds Lloyd, whose shot goes wide.

49th minute:
O'Reilly feeds Morgan, who hits near post with left foot for third U.S. shot off the woodwork.

Substitution-Morgan comes on for Cheney, out with an ankle injury.
Halftime (0-0)-
U.S. striker Lauren Cheney was forced to come off at halftime of the Women's World Cup final with an ankle injury suffered in the first minute of the game. Alex Morgan came on for Cheney to start the second half.
First Half-
The USA totally dominated the first half of the Women's World Cup final against Japan. The Americans had half a dozen clear chances but the best they could do was Lauren Cheney's shot stopped at the near post in the first 30 seconds of the game. Abby Wambach hit the crossbar, and Megan Rapinoe had a shot off the outside of the post. Japan's short passing game was largely nonexistent until the latter stages of the half.

Stats: USA 12-4 edge in shots. Teams tied with 1 shot on goal apiece.

38th minute: Kawasumi shoots over bar from top of the area.

35th minute:
Cheney's free header in the middle goes over the bar. U.S. totals: 12 shots, 1 on goal.

31st minute:
Ohno finds Ando in area with through ball but she shoots weakly at Solo.

29th minute: Wambach breaks clear down left wing and cracks ball off crossbar.

18th minute:
Cheney puts Rapinoe through, but Rapinoe hits outside of near post.

12th minute:
Cheney feeds Rapinoe, who misses from seven yards.

11th minute:
Clearance comes to wide-open Lloyd inside the area but she shoots over bar.

8th minute:
Rapinoe finds Cheney at near post but her stab just misses wide.

1st minute: Cheney steals ball from Iwashimizu and Kaihori stops her at the near post.


U.S. coach Pia Sundhage dropped Amy Rodriguez from the starting lineup for the Women's World Cup final against Japan. Megan Rapinoe is starting for the first time at the tournament, while Lauren Cheney moves up front.


USA (4-4-2): 1-Hope Solo; 11-Ali Krieger, 3-Christie Rampone, 19-Rachel Buehler, 6-Amy LePeilbet; 9-Heather O'Reilly, 7-Shannon Boxx, 10-Carli Lloyd, 15-Megan Rapinoe; 12-Lauren Cheney; 20-Abby Wambach.

Japan (4-4-2):
21-Ayumi Kaihori; 2-Yukari Kinga, 3-Azusa Iwashimizu, 4-Saki Kumagai, 15-Aya Sameshima; 11-Shinobu Ohno, 6-Mizuho Sakaguchi, 10-Homare Sawa, 8-Aya Miyama; 7-Kozue Ando, 9-Nahomi Kawasumi.

8 comments about "USA-Japan rewind".
  1. Bill Anderson, July 17, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.

    She scores against Japan too much...
    I am proud that the USA made the finals, an over-accomplishment for this group of "talent". On the other hand, I am not willing to accept that this was the "best" players available to the USA. Again, the reliance on direct, physical, non-technical play can only take a team so far. The US should have won the world championship, even though in my opinion they were only the 5th or 6th best team at the tournament.

  2. Luis Arreola, July 17, 2011 at 10:32 p.m.

    Hispanic bias. Mexico will be better on the women's side before there is compete outrage with USA soccer results and questioning on why USA is not pursuing Hispanic talent. Expect for countries like Honduras, el Salvador, Panama to lap them as well on the men's side as well.

  3. Paul Bryant, July 17, 2011 at 11:28 p.m.

    Luis, that will happen when the USMNT "laps" Brazil!

  4. Luis Arreola, July 18, 2011 at 10:02 a.m.

    Want to bet? Remember how black's were held back in Basketball and baseball. It is what it is.

  5. Kirsten Allen, July 18, 2011 at 10:48 a.m.

    Sub-standard mid-field play + horrible defending + bad touches + poor game management + below average coaching = poor results. Why were the women still kicking the ball around the field like a bunch of Hobbits on Saturday morning when there were only four minutes left in the extra-period. What a fiasco!! A lot of serious errors that negated great play by Rapinoe, Morgan, and Wambach. I am not sure what Kreiger was doing on the pitch with poor defending and bad decisions all tournament. The back line for the Americans can be considered the "goat" of the team but Lundhage must accept a great amount of the blame too. Sorry for the netativity but this was painful to watch.

  6. Wolfgang Wostl, July 18, 2011 at 11:35 a.m.

    Kirsten,substandard mid-field play? You must have been watching a different game than I did. That was the US best mid-field play by the US of the tournament.
    I agree that Kreiger should not have been on the field. Everytime she got into a 50-50 play with an opponent my BP went up. She should have prevented the second goal by Japan. When you cover the best player of the opposing team you cover her like a planket. Miyama got ahead of her, but she still could have prevented the goal by streching with her right foot over Miyama's right foot.
    I admire the Japan's team on how they handled the constant pressure by the US team, and never gave up.
    The Us team had some very bad luck. When you hit the post and crossbar several times, luck is not on your side.
    The game was one of the most exiting to watch. Too bad the better team lost.
    The Us line-up for the shoot-out was horrible.

  7. Ronnie j Salvador, July 18, 2011 at 12:27 p.m.

    Agree that midfield play was solid for the USA and easily their best game of the tournament. USA was the better side yesterday but luck had run out (used up in the quarters and semis). I don't quite understand the Rapinoe<>Heath substitution. I thought Rapinoe was the best player on the field on either team.

  8. Wolfgang Wostl, July 19, 2011 at 2:14 p.m.

    Ronnie, I think that Rapinoe's substitution may have been one of the major factors in loosing the game.
    For one, she was one of the best players on the field, and two she was needed for the penalty kicks. That and the wrong penalty kick line up hurt us a lot.

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