wpostServer: http://css.washingtonpost.com/wpost2

Most Read: Sports

http://www.washingtonpost.com/2010/07/06/ABMK8PP_linkset.html
Complete soccer coverage
Posted at 02:13 PM ET, 07/17/2011

Women’s World Cup final: USA vs. Japan live blog

USA vs. JAPAN

Kickoff: 2:45 p.m. ET.

TV: ESPN, Galavision, ESPN3.com

USA LINEUP: Solo; Krieger, Rampone, Buehler, LePeilbet; O’Reilly, Lloyd, Boxx, Rapinoe (Heath 114th); Cheney (Morgan 46th), Wambach.

JAPAN LINEUP: Kaihori; Kinga, Iwashimizu, Kumagai, Sameshima; Sakaguchi, Ohno (Maruyama 66th, Iwabuchi 119th), Miyama, Sawa; Ando (Nagasato 66th), Kawasumi.

Bold switch by Sundhage, dropping the ineffecting Rodriguez, moving Cheney up front and inserting super-sub Rapinoe into the lineup. Buehler returns from red card to pair with Rampone, relegating Sauerbrunn back to bench.

*****

Phenomenal match. Japan wins its first World Cup title. USA falls short of a third world crown. USA failed to to finish early scoring opportunities but seemed on its way to championship after Morgan’s goal in the 69th minute, but defensive breakdown led to Miyama’s equalizer. Wambach strikes again with a header early in extra time, but Sawa answers. Surprisingly, USA falters in penalties after converting all five in quarterfinals against Brazil. Kaihori makes two saves. Great theater. Next Women’s World Cup: 2015 in Canada.

JAPAN WINS ON PENALTIES 3-1

4. Kumagai: goal

4. Wambach: goal

3. Sakaguchi: goal

3. Heath: saved

2. Nagasato: goal

2. Lloyd: misses high

1. Miyawa: goal

1. Boxx: saved

END OF EXTRA TIME: We’re going to penalty kicks.....

122nd: USA free kick, deflected in the box, frantic scramble, Heath effort blocked. Unbelievable theater.

121st: Morgan behind Japan defense, taken down on edge of box by Iwashimizu. RED CARD.

120th: Wambach great chance to win it, bid misses the mark.

119th: Iwabuchi for Maruyama.

117th: JAPAN GOAL! Sawa with a spectacular redirect off a corner kick. What a match. 2-2.

115th: Sawa long ball into penalty area, Kinga beats Solo to ball, heavy touch cleared by Rampone in the six-yard box.

114th: Tobin Heath enters for Rapinoe.

112th: High ball eludes Solo, creating havoc in the box. Two USA players fall over each other, but Japan unable to capi­tal­ize. High drama as time melts away.

110th: USA standing firm as Japan presses. Cool on the ball, using the width of the field.

Break in extra time: 15 minutes down, 15 to go. Can USA preserve this lead?

104th: USA GOAL! Wambach header. 2-1. Morgan surges to end line, crosses to Wambach for six-yard nod. She’s done it again. Fourth goal of tournament — all headers. Her 13th career World Cup goal sets USA record.

100th: O’Reilly drives low ball deep into the box, cleared. O’Reilly high cross sails out of play.

95th: Morgan uses pace to collect Wambach’s ball, hooks left-footed shot from top of penalty area beyond the far post.

95th: Americans have started extra time the same way they started each half — in charge, pressing for a goal, yielding scant possession to Japan.

91st: USA corner kick. Two headers and a blocked shot. USA eventually sends ball back in, Wambach header saved routinely.

END OF REGULATION: 1-1. Mandatory 30 minutes to come.....

90th: USA intensifying late pressure with Lloyd’s footwork and several crosses into the box. Japan endures.

89th: Teams staring at extra time. Both enjoyed such adventures in quarterfinals, with Japan beating Germany and USA scoring late in bonus period to tie Brazil and then win on penalties.

85th: USA corner kick, Rapinoe dangerous service, volleyed from danger.

81st: JAPAN GOAL! Disastrous USA defending. Sawa cross stopped in heart of box. Buehler’s panicky clear catches Krieger off guard. Krieger left-footed reflex kick falls to Miyama for composed touch past helpless Solo. 1-1.

79th: Japan can’t equalize if they don’t have possession. USA doing well to keep ball, maintain poise, continue to dictate terms.

75th: Entering the final stage of regulation, tension building. USA remains in attacking mode, Japan play turning more urgent.

69th: USA GOAL! Rapinoe long ball, Morgan wards off Kumagai, gathers in stride, one touch into the box and then 17-yard drive to the far corner. 1-0. USA persistence pays off. Morgan utilizes blazing speed to beat Kumagai, finishes cleanly.

66th: Two Japan changes — Maruyama for Ohno, Nagasato for Ando.

64th: O’Reilly high cross, Wambach header tapped over crossbar by Kaihori.

64th: Japan (Ohno) incorrectly ruled offside at midfield, negating breakaway!

63rd: Consecutive USA corner kicks served by Rapinoe. Neither yields anything.

62nd: Overlapping Kinga sneaks behind USA defense, wayward bid on bouncing ball.

60th: After 15 minutes of second half, much of the same with USA dictating terms and presenting a constant sense of danger while Japan labors to find a consistent rhythm.

58th: USA corner kick, clearly easily.

56th: Despite USA manufacturing almost every quality chance, Japan retaining a menacing quality in its few possessions in the final third of the field.

49th: O’Reilly drives in low cross, Morgan redirects off base of right post, rebound deflects off goalkeeper and sits in six-yard box before being cleared. Wow, another glorious USA opportunity passes.

46th: Morgan enters for injured Cheney (ankle/foot).

HALFTIME: USA 0, Japan 0. Americans playing their finest all-around match of the tournament but not finishing well. Cheney twice, Lloyd, Rapinoe twice, Wambach off the crossbar, Cheney again. Will we see Alex Morgan soon? At the other end, Solo untested.

44th: Ohno lovely chip toward Ando deep in the box, a whisker beyond her reach as Krieger bumps Ando off stride.

43rd: USA pressure on the ball disrupting almost every Japan possession.

38th: Kawasumi misses badly from distance after Miyama corner kick.

35th: Rampone’s long ball meets Cheney for header that floats just over the target.

34th: Possession time slightly favoring Japan, but USA with far more quality scoring chances. Should’ve have one or two goals by now. Japan fortunate to be level.

31st: Ohno diagonal ball to Ando onside, acute-angled shot covered easily by Solo.

29th: Wambach runs onto ball at midfield, charges down left side, blasts left-footed shot from 17 yards off the crossbar!

24th: Japan beginning to find its game but still lacking the mesmerizing movement and passing that propelled it to its first final.

22nd: Ohno bid from distance, weak effort and off target.

20th: Match remains scoreless, despite USA dominance.

18th: Lovely Cheney-Rapinoe combination, tight-angled bid by Rapinoe clangs the near post, which was well covered by the keeper.

18th: Japan has enjoyed precious little possession. America’s day, so far.

15th: USA dictating terms, creating numerous quality chances, but match remains scoreless.

12th: Cheney sets up Rapinoe, one-timer from seven yards misses near corner. USA pressure intensifying but finishing not there.

11th: Lloyd 16-yard one-timer streaks over the crossbar.

10th: Wambach from distance, well over the crossbar.

9th: Cheney makes near-post run, uses right-footed poke to connect with Rapinoe’s cross, redirects fractionally wide of left upright.

8th: Match settles down after crackling start. Japan seeking to establish rhythm, sustain dazzling possession game.

4th: USA setting the early pace, but Japan probing for space. Sawa too heavy with through ball into box.

1st: Cheney makes instant impact, penetrating left side of box, tries to beat keeper to near corner instead of crossing to Wambach. Save.

1st minute: We’re underway!

By  |  02:13 PM ET, 07/17/2011

Tags:  Women's World Cup, U.S. national team

 
Read what others are saying
     

    © 2011 The Washington Post Company