Japan women beat U.S. on penalties to win World Cup

FRANKFURT,  (Reuters) – Japan won the women’s World  Cup for the first time after beating the United States 3-1 on  penalties following a 2-2 draw yesterday.

The U.S. lost all their confidence in the shootout having  dominated for long spells during the final and having twice  taken the lead.

The match ended at 2-2 after extra time having been 1-1  after the 90 minutes.

Japan, reduced to 10 when Azusa Iwashimizu was dismissed in  the 120th minute, levelled late on through Homare Sawa after  Abby Wambach’s header looked to have given the U.S. victory.

In normal time, Aya Miyama of Japan equalised in the 81st  minute when she tapped in a loose ball in front of the U.S. goal  after very poor defending.
Alex Morgan had stylishly scored for the U.S. in the 69th  minute. The American, who came off the bench at halftime,  outsprinted Japan defender Kumagai onto a long ball from Megan  Rapinoe and expertly fired her shot into the corner.

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