Reviewing the U.S.-Japan final

July, 17, 2011

Japan defeated the United States to win its first Women's World Cup, after rallying from behind to force extra time and again to force a shootout. Japan's cup-lifting moment Sunday was punctuated by several historic elements; it is the first Asian country to capture the Women's World Cup, the first group runner-up to win and the first champion to lose a match. The Americans missed three of their four penalty kicks in the shootout, their first misses in three shootouts all-time.

Here is a statistical look back at the final:

•  Midfielder Homare Sawa's 117th-minute goal capped Japan's comeback. Sawa, winner of both the Golden Boot (tournament high scorer) and Golden Ball (best player), and U.S. midfielder Carli Lloyd battled to control the midfield. Sawa was more efficient offensively, scoring on one of her two shots (both on goal), while Lloyd didn't put any of her seven shots on target. Sawa finished with 118 touches, third highest in the match, and completed 53 of her 71 passes (74.6 percent). Lloyd had a game-high 136 touches, completing 68 of her 84 passes (81 percent).

•  Japan's ability to hold on to possession was a constant throughout the tournament. Japan completed 479 of its 635 passes (75.4 percent) in the final, the highest percentage by a United States opponent in the tournament.

•  The United States (average height 5 feet, 7 inches) tried to exploit its height advantage over the Japanese (average height 5-4), particularly in attack. It was Japan, however, that completed the higher percentage of open-play crosses: the Americans were 7-for-31 (22.6 percent) while Japan completed 4-of-11 (36.4 percent).

•  Abby Wambach scored in the 104th minute, her American-record 13th goal in Women's World Cup play, and finished with 74 touches while completing 39 of 55 passes (70.9 percent). Wambach had seven shots (tied for game-high) and three on goal, creating four scoring chances. Wambach is the first player to score in all three elimination rounds and the first American to score in four straight matches in a single Women's World Cup.

•  Alex Morgan, who entered as a substitute at halftime, opened the scoring for the United States in the 69th minute, her second goal of the tournament and ninth career goal. It was the second straight game Morgan scored as substitute, as she became the first American to accomplish that at a single Women's World Cup.



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