Nadeshiko Are the Best in the World: Japan Wins Women’s World Cup After Penalty Shootout With the United States

Women's World Cup Champion Japan
Homare Sawa lifts the Women’s World Cup championship trophy after Japan defeats the United States. Photo by Reuters.

Nadeshiko Are the Best in the World: Japan Wins Women’s World Cup After Penalty Shootout With the United States
Yomiuri Shimbun: なでしこ世界一…女子W杯、PK戦で米下す
7:05 AM July 18, 2011

The championship game of the sixth Women’s World Cup final began July 17, 8:45 PM in Frankfurt, Germany (July 18, 3:45 AM in Japan). The Japanese team (nickname Nadeshiko Japan) defeated the United States, the top-ranked team in the world seeking its third championship and first in three tournaments, 3-1 on penalty kicks to realize its dream of winning the first World Cup in the country’s history.

The U.S. drew first blood when Alex Morgan scored in the 69th minute, but Aya Miyama equalized in the 81st minute, forcing the game into overtime.

In the 104th, Abby Wambach scored what looked to be the winning goal, but in the 117th, Homare Sawa scored with a flying right kick, tying the score 2-2 and sending the game to a penalty shootout.

This is Japan’s first victory in an international football tournament sponsored by FIFA, the men’s team included. Japan was ranked #4 in the world and had participated in all six tournaments, but until now its best finish was a quarterfinals appearance. At this tournament, they defeated 2-time defending champion and host country Germany in the quarterfinal and blitzed Sweden in the semifinal. But they had lost all 21 matches they’d played against the United States until now.

Homare Sawa was named the World Cup’s Most Valuable Player. Her five goals were the most in the tournament.

Homare Sawa Celebrates WWC Final Goal
Homare Sawa celebrates her equalizing goal late in extra time. Photo by Reuters.

MVP Sawa: I Still Can’t Handle Being #1 in the World
Yomiuri Shimbun: MVPの沢「世界一、まだ受け止められない」
7:18 AM July 18, 2011

Homare Sawa, the captain of new champion Japan, was named Most Valuable Player of the Women’s World Cup.

She scored five goals, the most in the tournament. After the match, she said, “We got here because we never quit. I kept running all the way to the end and spent all my energy.  I’ve been fighting to become the best in the world all along. I still can’t handle it coming true, but I’m truly happy,” she said, her face full of emotion.

On winning the crown in her fifth World Cup: “We finally got the result we’ve always wanted. It’s because of the support we received from everyone in Japan,” she said with a smile.







(2011年7月18日07時05分 読売新聞)





(2011年7月18日07時17分 読売新聞)

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