Japan Defeats US in Nail Biting Shootout


Have you been paying attention to the Women’s World Cup? Hope you have a cardiologist on speed dial, because this entire tournament has been a nerve (and heart) destroyer. Here are some highlights from today’s seesaw match between the US and Japan.

The game’s first goal didn’t come until well after halftime, when the US’s Alex Morgan booted one in. Japan echoed shortly thereafter, tying the game 1-1 going into extra time.

Abby Wambach, with her golden cranium of justice and freedom, scored on a header in extra time, only to have Japan’s Homare Sawa respond with a beautiful goal of her own. The US was unable to score before the clock expired, sending the game into a shootout.

An ailing Hope Solo wasn’t able to stop the Japanese feet, and the women picked to kick for the US couldn’t produce (with the exception of Wambach). Japan won the shootout 3-1, and they’re the new World Cup Champions.

I don’t smoke, but I feel like I need a cigarette.

Japan’s Homare Sawa places her hand on her chest during the singing of the national anthem. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

United States goalkeeper Hope Solo listens to the national anthem. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton gestures as she shows her support for the US women’s team as she leaves a press conference with Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis at the Foreign Ministry in Athens. (AP Photo / Saul Loeb)

United States’ Alex Morgan scores the opening goal. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Alexandria, VA: Anne Waldrop, left, of Paducah, Ky., Sam Penico, center, of Alexandria, Va., and Lauren Rachal, of Arlington, Va., react as they watch television coverage in the first half of the Women’s World Cup. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

United States’ Alex Morgan celebrates scoring the opening goal. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

A young fan of Japan waits prior to the final match. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

United States’ Rachel Buehler, right, and Japan’s Nahomi Kawasumi challenge for the ball. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Japan’s Aya Miyama , center on the pitch, scores her side’s first goal past United States goalkeeper Hope Solo. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

A fan of the US waits prior to the final match. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

United States’ Abby Wambach celebrates scoring her side’s second goal. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Fans react at Tommy Doyle’s pub in Cambridge, Mass. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

The US women’s team reacts after the shootout with Japan.

(I feel like a youth tee ball coach when I say this, but I don’t think I’m alone in being very proud of them and the way they played for the entire tournament. They did themselves proud, their teammates proud, their country proud, and the sport of soccer proud. If I had a daughter, I’d hope she’d grow up to be as passionate/dedicated to doing the very best she can as the players on the US Women’s Soccer Team.) (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori, right, and Japan’s Saki Kumagai hug after their victory. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)

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