July 19, 2011
USA Women's Soccer Team Goes to 2011 World Cup Finals
The USA Women's soccer team played Japan in the World Cup finals on Sunday July 17, 2011. Although they played well, they lost by penalty kicks in overtime. The final score was 2-2 with Japan winning the penalty kicks 3-1.
Throughout much of the first half the US was pressing Japan and had many close opportunities to score more goals. However, their shots were just wide or even hit the crossbar and they weren't able to take advantage. The game remained scoreless until late into the second period. In the 69th minute the youngest player on the team, Alex Morgan, scored a goal on a breakaway. This gave the US a 1-0 lead. However, Japan rebounded to score with only 9 minutes left in the game, making the score 1-1.
The overtime was very similar to regulation. The US scored first on a header by top goal scorer Abby Wambach. Again, the Japanese responded scoring an equalizing goal. The final score after the overtime was 2-2. The game then went to penalty kicks were the US lost 3-1.
About Penalty Kicks
When the game is tied in a World Cup soccer game after overtime, it is then decided by penalty kicks. This is when the ball is placed close to the goal. Only the goalie is there to defend while a single player gets one shot to kick it in. The team that scores the most penalty shots in five tries wins.
World Cup Summary
This was a heartbreaking loss for the US women's team. They had worked very hard and had defeated some outstanding teams such as Brazil and France to make it to the finals. Also, the US had not lost to Japan before in World Cup competition and had beat them twice already this year. However, as many of their competitors can attest, such as defending champion Germany, this was not the same Japanese team. They were smart, skilled, and mentally tough. The Japanese women never gave up and came through with the win.
The US Women's Players
The US Women had some excellent players on their team this year. Here is the roster:
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