Mon, July 18, 2011
Sports > Soccer

Japan beats U.S. to win 1st World Cup title

2011-07-18 00:58:22 GMT2011-07-18 08:58:22(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

Japan's players celebrate their victory on the podium after the final match between Japan and the United States at the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, July 17, 2011. Japan won the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup after beating the USA on the penalty shootout. (Xinhua/Ding Xu)

Japan's players celebrate on the podium after claiming the champion of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, July 17, 2011. Japan won the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup after beating the USA on the penalty shootout. (Xinhua/Ding Xu)

Japan's players pose for photos after claiming the champion of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup in Frankfurt, Germany, July 17, 2011. Japan won the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup after beating the USA on the penalty shootout. (Xinhua/Xu Liang)

BERLIN, July 17 (Xinhua) -- Japan defeated the U.S. at a seesaw match 3-1 on penalties after they equalized twice a deficit through midfielder Aya Miyama and Homare Sawa to grab the first ever FIFA World Champions title 2011 in Germany in front of some 48,800 spectators at Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt on Sunday.

Both sides staged an evenly first half so that the second half had to bring the decision. At the 69th minute U.S. striker Alex Morgan utilized a through ball to slot the opener into bottom left for her side.

The U.S. retracted with the neat 1-0 lead so that Japan shocked U.S. with the leveller at the 81st minute. After 90 minutes the extra time had to bring the decision. U.S. striker Abby Wambach scored the supposed 2-1 winner with 104 minutes into the match, but Japan kept it bowling and equalized again owing to a back heel goal by midfielder Homare Sawa to stun U.S. three minutes before final whistle.

Due to the 2-2 draw, the penalty shootout determines the FIFA World cup winner 2011. Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori saved two attempts by U.S. whilst U.S. goalie Solo Hope parried one attempt, nonetheless, midfielder Carli Lloyd pulled the shot just wide so that Japan defender Ski Kumagai sealed the first title for Japan as she converted the deciding penalty.

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