Stats & Info: Homare Sawa

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.

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.

Abby Wambach at her best late in matches

July, 16, 2011
The Women’s World Cup Final (Sunday at 2 ET on ESPN, features the United States trying to win its third title and Japan looking to become the first Asian team to win the tournament. The winner of this match will be the first champion to finish as group runner-up as well as the first to lose a match and win the Women’s World Cup.

The United States has never lost to Japan, posting a 22-0-3 record with a 77-13 goals scored advantage. The United States has won nine straight matches against Japan, including three in 2011.

Abby Wambach has scored three goals at this year’s tournament, bringing her career total to 12, tying her with Michelle Akers for the most goals by an American in Women’s World Cup history.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Wambach is the only player in Women’s World Cup history to score two goals that tied the score or gave her team a lead in the 75th minute or later of an elimination match. Nine other players scored one such goal in their career, but Wambach has scored two -- in consecutive matches of the same tournament.

Japan’s captain, Homare Sawa, is playing in her fifth Women’s World Cup and is one of only four players to appear in five Women’s World Cups. Also for Japan, watch midfielder Aya Miyama. She has scored directly from a free kick at this tournament and also set up two goals by Homare Sawa from set pieces, one from a corner kick and one from a free kick.

To read the entire post, click here.