Japan Wins on Penalty Kicks

After tying it up late in extra time
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2011 4:46 PM CDT
Japan Wins on Penalty Kicks
Japan's midfielder Homare Sawa (R) celebrates scoring the 2-2 goal during the FIFA Women's Football World Cup final match Japan vs USA on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany.   (Getty Images)

It was another thriller today in the Women's World Cup final, but this time it ended in heartbreak for the US. The Americans led twice in the game, but each time Japan tied it up, according to ESPN. Neither side managed to score in the first half, despite multiple chances for the US. Alex Morgan finally drew first blood on a counterattack in the 69th minute, following a long pass from Megan Rapinoe. But Japan’s Aya Miyama evened the score in the 80th, after the US repeatedly failed to clear a ball near their goal.

Perennial hero Abby Wambach put the US in front yet again in extra time, knocking a header in on a cross from the left in the 102nd minute. But Japan refused to give up, scoring an equalizer off a corner kick with just four minutes left to play. That sent it to penalty kicks, which went disastrously for the US. Wambach was the only American to get one in, while Japan made good on three of their chances, with Saki Kumagai kicking the deciding shot. (More Women's World Cup stories.)

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