Japan versus USA again in Women's World Cup final

Published July 3rd, 2015 - 03:01 GMT

Four years ago, Japan caused a major upset in Women's football history, when they defeated one of the super powers in the game, USA, in the final to lift the World Cup.

That defeat at the Commerzbank-Arena, in Frankfurt, Germany, saw the Americans cry like babies, after seeing their dream of becoming the first country to win the crown a record third time shattered by the Japanese.

In particular, the US team striker and captain, Abby Wambach, told The Guardian then that the defeat was a major "injury" to her soccer career.

"This is going to hurt me for long," she said in a brief chat on her way out of the Commerzbank-Arena in Frankfurt. The Americans went down in that encounter 2-3 on penalties.

Four years on, the two teams have again been pitched in a final. This time, USA and Japan will do battle in the final of the Canada 2015 Women's World on Sunday in the city of Vancouver.

True to their pre-match boast, the fast moving Japanese shot down the Three lionesses (England) 2-1 in their semi-finals here in Edmonton on Wednesday, after USA had sent Germans packing 2-0 on Tuesday.

The English had themselves to blame in Wednesday's game, as their defender, Laura Bassett, scored an own goal in the second minute of stoppage time to hand Japan the final ticket after a 1-1 goal. The game was already heading to extra time, when Bassett struck.

While Japan heads to Vancouver to meet USA in the final, the English will stay back here in Edmonton to face Germany in the third place match.

With this victory, Japan will be aiming to equal the record already set by USA and Germany in the Women's World Cup, who had won it twice. On their part, the Americans will be aiming to extend their lead.

Apart from winning in 2011, Japan became only the second Asian national team to reach the FIFA Women's World Cup Final, following China's final appearance against the United States in 1999. This was also only the second final not involving a European team.

After beating Germany in Tuesday's semifinal, U.S. coach, Jill Ellis, said they were ready for any team in the final.

She said: "We watched a lot of films, broke it down, but the players executed, that's the key," Ellis said.

USA last won the title in 1999, that was, when they hosted the championship on home soil for the first time.

© 2022 AllAfrica Global Media.

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