The Japanese women’s soccer team ended up victorious in the World Cup final against the United States.
The World Cup final began at 2:45 p.m. EST and ended at 5:22 p.m. Tied up at 2 – 2 at the end of regulation play and overtime, Japan won against the United States in a tie breaking penalty-kick shootout, 3 to 1.
The women’s soccer teams from both Japan and the United States played a scoreless first half in the battle for the 2011 World Cup.
American professional soccer player Alex Morgan had the honor of making the first goal of the match during the second half of the game, putting the United States in the lead. Japanese player Aya Miyama scored after, bringing the game to a 1-1 tie. During overtime Abby Wambach scored, bringing the U.S. into the lead once again with 2-1. Japanese player Homara Sawa then scored with three minutes left in overtime on the clock, bringing the teams to a nail biting 2-2 tie. The World Cup final then came to penalty kicks, starting with America’s Shannon Boxx. Japan soon became one penalty kick away from victory and took the World Cup.
Winning this World Cup is highly emotional for the Japanese soccer team. The Japanese squad set out to give their citizens something to smile and be proud about after the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that took place March 11.
“To be in the final is, to be honest, like a dream,” Japanese player Homare Sawa told FIFA, also adding that her teammates plan to capitalize on any weaknesses the U.S. team has. “We know USA are a great and strong team, but they have weak points too, and there’s always a chance to score.”
Hope Solo of the U.S. team called the Japanese players “the sentimental favorites” for helping to lift the spirits of the citizens of their devastated nation.
This would have been the United State’s third time winning the World Cup, making them the first squad to ever win the women’s World Cup three times, which was won previously in 1991 and 1999.
This is a proud day for the Japanese women’s soccer team, as well as all of Japan.
Here’s the highlights up to the 2-2 tie score – another video will be posted as soon as it’s available with more:
Final penalty kick and celebration: