In the second FIFA Women's World Cup Final to ever reach penalty kicks, Japan defeats the United States to win its first World Cup title. The Americans, who had never missed a penalty kick in two previous shootouts at the Women's World Cup, missed their first three on Sunday.
Japan evened the game twice after the United States took leads of 1-0 and 2-1. Homare Sawa's tournament-leading fifth goal came in the 117th minute and forced penalty kicks. Sawa's goal was the latest ever in a Women's World Cup Final and made Sawa, at age 32, the oldest player to ever score in the Women's World Cup Final.
FIFA Women's World Cup History
Both of those records had been set just minutes earlier, when 31-year-old Abby Wambach scored in the 104th minute. For Wambach, it was her 13th career World Cup goal, an American record and the third-most in tournament history. Wambach, who famously forced penalty kicks vs Brazil in the quarterfinals with a goal in extra time, became the first player in Women's World Cup history with two career goals in extra time.
The U.S. failed to capitalize on several chances Sunday, particularly in the first half. The Americans hit the post three times, bringing their total for the tournament to six, three more than any other team. Instead of finishing the tournament as the first country to win the Women's World Cup three times, the U.S. must settle for its first-ever runner-up finish.