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Japan beats U.S. in shootout to win Women's World Cup soccer

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Evry once in a while there's a game where I wish both sides could win. This was one of those games.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Bravo to Japan. You have undergone such hardship with dignity in the past year. I am an American, supported my teamand wished them to win, but if anyone should have overcome us, I am glad it was Japan. Your women are a great example of the strength of your country. Please accept my congratulations. Strive to succeed and contribute to the world as I know you will.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

nippon ichiban!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

also take that china! japan won.

though i'm sure the chinese will pirate the world's cup and hold a china only tournament in its borders and claim china won.

-15 ( +7 / -22 )

Congrats to the lovely Ladies of Japan. A beautiful note on this July 17.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Yeah! I hope this helps to inspire all Japan in recovery. We can do it.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Well done Japan. The USA need to practice their penalty taking skills.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

well done girls! i watched every minute of it! it was such a good game! you deserve it! <3

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Congratulations to Team Japan! Not only have you displayed the Japanese spirit with that strength and perseverance in that fantastic team play, you also made history as the first women World Cup Champions from Asia. Great job, ladies!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Congratulations from Germany! The japanese women really deserve to be world champions. I think the US Team was better in many aspects, but in the end the steadfastness of the japanese team paid of. They seemed to be very likeable and I'm very happy for them.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

A great and much-deserved win.

It's been nice trawling through the major U.S. papers online this morning, and seeing so many positive comments--"Disappointed, but Japan deserved and needed this win", etc.--and so few disparaging ones. Americans may be brash and over-confident at times, but they do know how to be generous in defeat.

Congratulations, Japan!

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Good for them.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Congrats Japan. I was rooting for USA, but admire the game you played. The spirit of Japan came through in the game.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Many congrats to the Japanese team, and to the good people of Japan. May your hard-fought victory inspire you all as you move forward in recovering from your difficulties. Well done -

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hey Germany is a world leader in soccer, while the USA still is in love with baseball, American football, basketball, hockey and only very, very recently do some Americans even care about soccer, so good job to the American women and OMEDETOU GOZAIMASU to Nadeshiko Japan! They also beat the hell out of our Mexican girls, 4-0!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Congratulations from Finland to every japanese and the team! You really deserved the victory, you really were the TEAM! I hope that this will give you hope and remember to celebrate a lot :)

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Well done Japanese girls! Deserved champs - they did it for the Tohoku victims, no doubt about that. So much for all that pre-match hype about Hope Solo being some legendary goalie - she was owned!

also take that china! japan won.

SunHawk - nice one, inflict your constant negativity against China onto this unrelated thread. Grow up.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Congratulations Japan on winning the Ladies FOOTBALL World Cup.

Anyone care to speculate on the result of a game between the Japanese men's team and the Japanese ladies' team? That would be interesting and I would give the ladies an even chance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Congratulations to Japan!! Yokattane!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Anyone care to speculate on the result of a game between the Japanese men's team and the Japanese ladies' team?

My money would be on the women - they look tougher and would boss the men around!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

rout the krauts minced the meatballs tanked the yanks well done lassies, well done

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Amazing!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sensational!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just saw the 20mins highlights on Fuji TV, what a nail biter. USA should have had that but for poor finishing. Seemed they suffered from a bit of over confidence and hadn't learned from Germany and Sweden.

Bigger and better mean nothing if you cant finish off. Top stuff Japan, and that first save by the keeper in the PK? wow.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Fantastic match! Congratulations to Japan's team.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There goes my blood pressure ... up the roof!!! Adrenalin's still pumping. The PK was so thrilling I forgot to breathe...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

WOW JAPAN! You girls did it! I am so proud of you. This was the best thing that has happened to Japan in a long while. An inspiration to every girl here in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Talk about defying the odds ... wish I could have watched it live!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Omedettoh Nihon! This greatest of all victories will inspire every person up in the Tohoku disaster area, watching the ladies and getting hope. All the world said we couldnt do it, but we did! Best baseball nation and now best soccer nation! What's next? !

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

@ Carch: Anyone who actually watched that game knows the US ladies weren't underestimating the Japanese ladies. They just couldn't finish their shots, and they took a ton. @El Mex. Don't confuse US mens soccer team with the US Womens soccer team. The US womens are(probably still are) ranked #1 in the world, and have in the last 5 years, have always finished ranked in the World Cup. The Japanese team didn't beat a team that just recently got good. They beat the #1 ranked team in the world(yes, that includes Brazil/Germany/France), and also arguably the best goalkeeper in the world with Hope Solo. As an American, I had hoped we'd win, but Japan did everything right and it paid off. One other note.., in regards to how they need to "practice their penalty shots". US had beat Brazil earlier by penalty shots, and Japan did have that advantage, as the first shooter for US shot the same way she had earlier. Either way, Japan did a fantastic job and kept pushing it and never gave up. Kudos to the first, and not last, Asian team to win it all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nice Japan!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

CONGRATULATIONS to Team Japan!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Congratulations Japan's womens Football Team, well done good for you and good for the country. Lets hope this goes some way towards lifting the spirits in Japan after all the misery and hardship some have had to endure lately.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

congrats to the japanese team!! very well done. japanese women do sooo much better than the japanese men in all international sports. i wonder why that is. bigger heart maybe or more open minded than the narrow minded men.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What a memorable game - thank you to both Nadeshiko Japan and Team USA! サッカー優勝おめでとうございます, なでしこ ジャパン!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Congrats & Big Thanks to Nadeshiko!!:)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great game. Congrats to Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What a most memorable game! Thank you to both teams for showing all the world the best of women's soccer. Omedetou gozaimasu Nadeshiko Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

also take that china! japan won.

though i'm sure the chinese will pirate the world's cup and hold a china only tournament in its borders and claim china won.

@sunhawk - wtf does this have to do with the u.s.-japan game?!? you should get out of your parent's basement more often.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What a most memorable game! Thank you to both teams for showing all the world the best of women's soccer. Omedetou gozaimasu Nadeshiko Japan!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why is it that Japanese women seem to play more at a world class level in these team sports, and the men are - how should I say - "second class?"

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Excellent game! The US team held their composure and showed good sportsmanship after the game. No exaggerated display of crying, which I'm sure the Japanese women would have done. Both teams were a pleasure to watch.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Yeah, Japan, I miss you!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

japanese women do sooo much better than the japanese men in all international sports. i wonder why that is. bigger heart maybe or more open minded than the narrow minded men.

jinjapan -- good question. IMO its because the media here is still dominated by a bunch of male chauvenists, so the women get little attention, and the men too much. As a result, the men think they are better than they are, because of the exposure/hero worship they get here, including the commercial endorsements, etc. While the women toil away in relative obscurity and just focus of getting better, not more famous or richer. In any case, hats off to the Japanese women. No one can question their heart and resolve. They are a worthy champion.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Japan won this with great defence and restricting Wambach..the better side at soaking up pressure won on the day. The 'revenge' match should be a cracker-promoters should be working on getting the Americans out here asap !!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Speed that's just a silly comment. "No exaggerated display of crying, which I'm sure the Japanese women would have done." How little you know of these women from the land of the rising sun. They are the ones laughing, smiling, and having fun before and during the game, not the US. Before pk's, the coach had them huddled in a circle, smiling. US players were not in "tight" and most assuredly not smiling. Win or lose, the Japanese would have cheered and been happy just to be there. The US, not so. They think they are owed the victory, and they will cry only after it sinks in that yes, they did indeed lose and this wasn't a dream.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Japanese women soccer team is toucher and stronger than men soccer team. The players are not making big bucks comparing with male players. Men team also has to win the next world cup too. Japan is an only Asian nation to win the world cup soccer. Cheers for their glory and fighting sprits.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Excellent game! The US team held their composure and showed good sportsmanship after the game. No exaggerated display of crying, which I'm sure the Japanese women would have done. Both teams were a pleasure to watch.

Now why did you have to post that below-the-belt comment?

Lame!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"japanese women do sooo much better than the japanese men in all international sports. i wonder why that is. bigger heart maybe or more open minded than the narrow minded men."

You cannot really compare men and women's soccer based on the performance of the Japanese women here. Men's WC has been around for a LONG time, and the Asian teams are relatively new to it, whereas with the women all the teams joined at the same time and are relatively level.

That fact aside, congrats to the Japanese ladies!! I personally think, and have said before, PK is no way to win/lose, but such is the sport. I only wish people would stop saying it's because of the earthquake/tsunami on March 11th that they won.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The beauty of Football at its finest!

Lacking in height and inexperience in handling championship's pressure, Japan team beautifully defied and triumphed over tall and great odds. The ladies showed and awed everyone by its sheer grit of determination and colossal teamwork.

Simply unforgettable how the team slowly crawled its way throughout the Cup, and thundered late into the games beating heavyweights Germans and Swedes, and finally electrifying everyone fans and foes alike after taking on the Americans.

Well done ladies. Simply too beautiful to forget.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Got up and watched it. Superb stuff. Well done Japan. Well done. Never EVER say die.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I want to congratulate both teams for the great show that was this match. Both deserved to win, they played with a passion that was contagious. I am surprised to discover that this World Cup was so exciting. I wish I could see all the matches again - some made me smile the rest of the day, especially the wonderful victory of US over Brazil. And now Japan came from behind 2 goals to win the Cup. Omedeteou gozaimasu Japan!! I am sure the Americans do not feel bad for losing for this brave team. I am sure Japanese people are a little happier this morning!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@ Brandon; Get real, your doing the same thing as Speed in assuming the other team is weaker and has to cry. Neither team would have cried because neither team thought they were owed the victory(like your stupid self seems to think the US women would think so), and as such, each team gave it their all. If they had cried, it would because they gave it all and they lost, not because they lost what they were owed.

In regards to the main theme. I don't understand it either, right after the game was over I checked ESPN and Japanese Ladies win was on the main page, I checked this site, and it still has the pre-game thoughts. This site, a Japanese site, didn't report the biggest victory for women's soccer in history until much later(even 10 minutes is much to late when it seems every other online newsite was updated within seconds).

In both countries it seems that the women's team is infinitely stronger than the mens, and neither get the respect they deserve. In the states, though its the women playing, some of the soccer commercials had the men acting like it was them representing us. I can only hope that that this victory will make Japan realize that the men don't rule the roost, and that they'll start truly supporting these women better. As some of the announcers stated, some of the players on the field don't do this for a living, it doesn't pay enough, instead they have to work side jobs to cover what they love to do. Hopefully Japan will finally recognize how good of a team they can be, and pay them as such. At least they're proving they can win on the big stage..

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I only wish people would stop saying it's because of the earthquake/tsunami on March 11th that they won.

You seem to be the only one saying that....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Congratulations Nadeshiko,you did a great job! And yet, I have my own thoughts about the second goal of Japan. It seems to me that American goalkeeper Solo did not receive enough time to fully recover or should have been substituted even at that time before the finish of the regular time. When a goalkeeper was hurt, I remember from earlier games, it took longer waiting times. This was a little too hasty ,in my opinion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congratulations to the Japan. They fought hard. They didn't play the greatest and the U.S. made some mistakes that let them stay in the game. I am proud of the Japanese side for fighting so hard and winning. But the American side made me VERY PROUD to be an American. They didn't cry like babies because they lost. They held their heads high. They taught the Japanese side a lesson in sportsmanship!! If the Japanese had lost they would have been crying on the ground and boo-hooing. Such an awful sight. That is when I turn the TV off and I am tired off seeing athletes here do that when they lose. Hold your head up high because you did the best you could and it didn't work out. You can be proud of losing if you grave it your all. Congratulations to the Japanese team for their tenacity and their fighting spirit in winning. And congrats to the American team for fighting as hard as they did, losing, and holding their heads high. They are both winners although only one side feels it ACTUALLY won.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Job well done Nadeshiko Japan! The US played hard as well... but only one team can win.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I rue this. Japan did not win. Repeat. Japan DID NOT win!

The Japanese ladies soccer team won. Congratulations to them. They won because they were the better team. End of story.

You seem to be the only one saying that....

Maybe, but no one has elaborated on why they said they deserved to win so much. I was thinking "tsunami" as I read the comments.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Oh, don't misunderstand. When I said that they didn't play their best, what I meant was they were dominated in the first half by the US team, of course to no avail to the US side. But it had to be one of the best soccer matches I have seen in a very long time, if ever. Both sides fought so hard. Great game. I hope that this will fuel soccer popularity in the US because it is a great game to play. Not as great as American football in my OWN opinion, but still a great game. NO dis intended at all. Different strokes for different folks. Congrats to both teams.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Great victory for Japan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan did not win. Repeat. Japan DID NOT win! The Japanese ladies soccer team won.

Are you splitting hairs over the tirle of this article? How childish!

Japan beats U.S.

Because they were the better team. No need to make lame excuses or cry...

no one has elaborated on why they said they deserved to win so much

Pfffff....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Skeptical Hippo, I disagree with you wholeheartedly.

Excellent game! The US team held their composure and showed good sportsmanship after the game. No exaggerated display of crying, which I'm sure the Japanese women would have done. Both teams were a pleasure to watch.

It is not below the belt. Nor is it lame at all. It is fact!!!

Every time the Japanese team loses they cry. They fold up on the ground with their eyes welled up and tears rolling down their faces. That is fact. Not cool at all. Something that I really wish would change because it is sad to see someone fight so brave and hard and than betray all that hard work by crying.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

So that's why my wife was screaming this morning!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I love their 'never give up' attitude. They are a real inspiration to the people of Japan. Not because they won a world cup, but because they never gave up once, always coming back even tho the odds were against them. Now that is something to be proud of.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Japanese goals were a little bit lucky I think.

Alex Morgan was the player of the game, I'd say. Spectacular effort on her goal holding off the defense and being able to drill the ball in the corner after that long run - awesome! Then she set up Abby for an easy header and the go-ahead goal. She was also pulled down when she had a chance to win the game on a dirty play by Japan that got them a red card. If you get a red card, you should only have four chances in the shootout from now on. I'd say that dirty play saved Japan. American girls were way prettier, too.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Are you splitting hairs over the tirle of this article?

No. The comments congratulating the whole of Japan. Why do people feel a whole country won? 99.999 percent of Japan had absolutely NOTHING to do with it. That sort of irrational insanity is the sort the world could really do without. Today its just soccer. Tomorrow its a war. My country against yours, therefore, me against you, even though you and I have nothing to do with it or eachother.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

No exaggerated display of crying, which I'm sure the Japanese women would have done.

I believe there are different types of tears for different emotions. tears of sadness , tears of frustration, tears of joy etc ...tears of defeat, I can only imagine how hard it is to suppress. can we blame anyone for crying after training so hard for years and see their efforts go unrewarded? i think they have a right to cry, win or lose

2 ( +2 / -0 )

ometedou

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The headline is correct. That's the way it is in sports.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No. The comments congratulating the whole of Japan. Why do people feel a whole country won? 99.999 percent of Japan had absolutely NOTHING to do with it. That sort of irrational insanity is the sort the world could really do without. Today its just soccer.

YOU are talking about irrationality and insanity?? LOL

Tomorrow its a war. My country against yours, therefore, me against you, even though you and I have nothing to do with it or eachother.

Take a chill pill bro! Seriously....

Japan won.

USA lost. No longer No. 1.

Deal with it!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Hope Solo: "As much as I wanted this, if there was another team I could give it to, it'd be Japan."

Japan won with class, US lost with class.

Congrats, Japan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Is Hope Solo related to Han Solo?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Great job...Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the end, Hope's size and questionable training methods (wrists bound by an sm-like strap) didn't pay off.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Speed Jul. 18, 2011 - 10:12AM JST

The US team held their composure and showed good sportsmanship after the game. No exaggerated display of crying, which I'm sure the Japanese women would have done.

Au contraire. Hope Solo ran to her family in the stands in tears after she let in the 3 penalty shot.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Sorry, should read "3rd penalty shot."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I watched the whole match live. USA really dominated the first half and probably lost the match then only because they hit the crossbar/post 3-4 times? and missed open net opportunities. The second half was more even. Of the four goals in regular and extra time three were well deserved, one, running towards the goal and not to be denied by Alex Morgan, a laser shot off the head of Amy Wambach and a terrific shot by Homare Sawa ( I think off a corner kick, I still can't believe she pulled it off ). The goal that tied the match for Japan in regulation was a gift, the US players failed to clear the ball right in front of their net. The penalty kicks were a bit of a surprise. The Americans hit what I thought were some really lame, perdictable shots. If this were a "best of " series I think the US would have won, but the Japanese team was tenacious/perservering and in the end took advantage of the more important opportunities to win the Cup. Good for them

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very inspirational game. I am very happy for the japanese women soccer team. They showed poise and resilience throughout the game. I watched the entire game and I can tell the american were their worst enemy. The players could not capitalize on golden opportunities and at time their defense was shaky. Congrats to Nadeshiko Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congratulations! You played with your jearts, and you played for your people, not for money.You deserved the cup!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think after so many missed chances by the US in the beginning, all the shots off the bars, they felt Japan was destined to win this game. And I'm glad they did. This World Cup tournament has made me a soccer fan. For now at least. haha.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Congrats, Nadeshiko Japan!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well done japan it was a hard game indeed

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@sojherde

It seems to me that American goalkeeper Solo did not receive enough time to fully recover or should have been substituted even at that time before the finish of the regular time. When a goalkeeper was hurt, I remember from earlier games, it took longer waiting times. This was a little too hasty ,in my opinion.

<>http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/news?slug=ro-rogers_solo_plays_through_injury_071711 Solo: Theatrics could’ve saved Americans

Solo injured her knee in a collision with Japan’s Yukari Kinga early in the second period of extra-time with the Americans leading by a goal. She opted not to receive treatment at the time, But Solo’s knee complaint worsened, and by the time there were only four minutes of extra time left she had no option but to call for the trainer and play was halted while she was treated on the field.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Great game. The US dominated most of the open play, and created most of the chances, especially in the first half, but that's the way it is in football... the dominant team doesn't always win. Japan soaked up the pressure and waited for their half-chances, which eventually came. The penalty kicks were astonishing... a colossal case of nerves is all I can think of that would account for the tameness of some of them, but credit to Kaihori for saving two. Miyama and Kumagai were ice-cold from the spot.

Look forward to seeing them play again in the next year's Olympics in London.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This was the way soccer should be played. All heart and for your country. What an amazing tournament and great result for our ladies. Japanese girls rule.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I called it days ago...Omedetou !!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I only wish people would stop saying it's because of the earthquake/tsunami on March 11th that they won.

instead, i would say it was philanthropic gesture by USA to encourage Tohoku region.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"They didn't cry like babies because they lost. They held their heads high. "

??

not what i saw. infact the opposite.

It was worthy and more important that Japan won the best behaved in the tournament...again a contrast to quite a number of american supports who instead of just supporting their team show their low class by concentrating on being offensive/rude/racist to the over team/country on and off the pitch. Also there was some questionable usa behaviour on the pitch that they got away with from the ref. when should have been given fouls etc. but i suspect for usa best behaved is not important as they are famous as the most rudest team, so a to loose on the only way they think is important is funny.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Skeptical Hippo: "You seem to be the only one saying that...."

Give it a rest. Every single article on women's soccer since Japan started doing well has mentioned the March 11th disasters, and even their coach made them sit down and watch scenes from the aftermath of the tsunami before the game with Germany, and claimed that it was THAT that motivated them.

"In the end, Hope's size and questionable training methods (wrists bound by an sm-like strap) didn't pay off."

Again, you need to relax. BOTH teams did wonderfully, and while the US lost they still have the most WC wins under their belt. This was not a win in open play, it was a win in PK overtime, which is not necessarily a show of talent. The Japanese ladies deserve to celebrate, as does Japan (although most just jumped on the bandwagon a week ago), but it's not like they slaughtered the US team or anything. It's a crappy way to lose, PK, and not really a good way to win.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

smithinjapanJul. 18, 2011 - 03:55PM JST

It's a crappy way to lose, PK, and not really a good way to win.

I agree, that's true in any sport with free play but........ way to be a party pooper smithinjapan. Time and a place.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Wambach first to congratulate the Japanese side and then held it together through some really tough post-game questions. = class.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm happy Japan won but the documentary to be made out of this will kill the crap out of me. Remember they still talk about their performance of the Samurai at SA10

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

That was a great game and congrats to the team.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tahoochi: "I agree, that's true in any sport with free play but........ way to be a party pooper smithinjapan. Time and a place."

I'm not trying to be a party-pooper by any means, but I was making a point towards Skeptical Hippo's untoward jubilation and statements with the tone that it was a one-sided game when it was anything but. The US dominated much of the open-field play but couldn't get it in, that's fact. But to hear people talk about how Japan dominated is just listening to silliness.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan rode their luck. Not their fault the americans couldn't score. They could have been out of sight by half time. But that's how the game goes. If you don't take your chances it can come back and bite you on the bahookie...and it did. Was over the moon for Japan. They totally deserved it. And what a humble lady Sawa is!

Magic! :D

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Smith, I'll have to agree with you there. My wife got up to feed the baby and ended up watching the first 30 minutes of the game. According to her, the US were so dominant that she was certain Japan would lose. PK is not the best way to decide the winner, but congrats to Japan for coming from behind 2 times to get there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm sorry our team didn't win but WTG Japan. No shame to lose to such fine players. Another time, then ;-)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Skeptical HippoJUL. 18, 2011 - 10:34AM JST Excellent game! The US team held their composure and showed good sportsmanship after the game. No exaggerated display of crying, which I'm sure the Japanese women would have done. Both teams were a pleasure to watch.

Now why did you have to post that below-the-belt comment? Lame!

I wrote that because I have rarely, if ever, seen a Japanese team, male or female, not have a few or many members of the team break down in dramatic sobs and let run tears of disappointment and despair after a loss. I've been watching Japanese sports teams for close to 20 years.

I used to help coach JHS baseball and badminton teams and watched them cry like babies after losing big games/tournaments. The coaches somewhat expected them to "cry their hearts out" to display that they've given it all they could to win but couldn't. I used to tell them that it was considered bad sportsmanship and childish to do this but was told that it is different here in Japan.

Next month, watch EVERY team that gets knocked out of the Koshien high school baseball tournament and you will see an embarrassing amount of crying.

The Japanese women won a great game, but had they lost it would've been a first for me to not see a Japanese team cry "to show they gave it all their hearts".

The US lost with great composure and, of course, understand a few had tears of disappointment, but I still stand by my earlier comment that I don't believe the Japanese women would have been nearly as composed had they lost.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Well done, Japan!!! A well-deserved victory by a bunch of real fighters! These samurai girls were awesome!!!! Congratulations to them and their coach as well.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Congrats Japan!

Well-played, USA. There's still next year - go for Olympic gold again.

(And there's no crying in baseball!)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Congratulations to Nadeshiko Japan! To both the Japanese and U.S. women, what a well-played game. I also thought the refereeing was quite good (other than a controversial offside in the second half, in which Sawa's pass to Ohno was clearly onside in replays shown).

The Japanese goals were a little bit lucky I think.

Luck had nothing to do with it. I thought the U.S. created the most chances in the first half, but it was their inability to convert on those chances that did them in. The second half was a bit more even, with Japan threading the U.S. defense more and creating some excellent chances of their own. Spectacular goal by Morgan, but a rare defensive lapse in the U.S. backfield and a opportunistic put-back by Miyama leveled it rightly so. Overall, Japan played the possession game well and the defense held up. Wonderful header by Wambach, but equally nice footwork by Sawa to get an equalizer in extra time. Yeah, PKs is a lousy way to end such a nailbiter of a game that could have gone either way. However, you gotta convert in a pressure-packed situation, and Japan showed in the end that it had the mental strength to do it. So congrats to them.

Wambach first to congratulate the Japanese side and then held it together through some really tough post-game questions. = class.

I always had respect for her. She was the only one to do that, but I understand that the other ladies must have been too shocked and needed the time to cry and console each other over the loss. Hope Solo even went to the stands to be consoled and cry with family and friends before joining her teammates on the field. It must have been hard on her. She even said that she regrets not acting more hurt after she landed awkwardly towards the end of extra time, and that it might have cost them the match.

http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/news;_ylt=Al00SzuAuNbMLunsq5nGMYo5nYcB?slug=ro-rogers_solo_plays_through_injury_071711

At least the U.S. players have shown more class in defeat than some Yahoo posters who have written things like "Soccer is not a real sport" and "I'd rather watch paint dry". I guess some fans downplay the game once their team loses. Pathetic, if you ask me.

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Luck had nothing to do with it.

Penalty shootouts are, by definition, a lottery. You have to have some luck to win them. Anyway, well done Japan ladies - only the 4th nation to win the world cup! Sawa is awesome - she would not look out of place in the Japan men's team!

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This was an exciting game by all accounts but the championship decided by penalty kicks? Really? How sad. It seems to me that it's mostly just luck in such kicking matches. If the goalie guesses right, no point. If not, then it's a point. That's just dumb.

This is why I, like many Americans, don't bother watching futbol. It's distracting to have all those people running around while one's trying to watch grass grow.

Some suggestions to fix it:

A. Make the goal bigger. This will increase scoring and reduce the likelihood of games ending in a tie.

B. In case of ties at the end of regulation time, continue the game in "sudden death" mode. The first team to score in overtime wins.

C. Failing either of the above, have a 'provisional' PK at the beginning of the game 'just in case.' Then, if it ends in a tie whichever team won the pre-game kicking match wins the game.

That way, the end would be exciting as the clock runs down and it's do-or-die before time runs out instead of a boring kicking match that depends more on guessing than anything else.

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oh well they lost. we have won many other games, & Medals. Congratulations Japan from America.

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Congratulations Japaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan !

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I don't have a problem with Japan winning, they won fair and square, but I just don't want to hear for the next 3 weeks day in and day out about the victory, 3 days, fine, but people here go way overboard and drag it out an milk it until there is nothing left. So we will see future commercials, TV appearances, book signings to the point, I won't be able to watch anything else on TV or be able to go anywhere without hearing about it nonstop. Also, I don't want to hear about how Japan won from people that never watched or never cared about the sport, but now all of a sudden, they are football fans and they celebrate, but know nothing about the sport, they want to ride on the coat tails of these women? Not fair. Anyway, good job. Wish it were the other way around, but Japan did good, gotta admit that.

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I don't have a problem with Japan winning, they won fair and square,

bass4funk -- other than the red-flag tackle in the 120th minute of course, which possibly cost the Americans the winning goal. Other than that, I agree with you post. Glad I don't have to witness all the "overboard" self-congratulations Japan will bestow on itself this week.

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Wow! What a game it was. It was the perfect ending to a World Cup. What a thrilling finish it was. Japan and the U.S. played fantastically throughout and both could have equally won it. Ironically, despite Nike's "Pressure Makes Us" campaign for the U.S. women, the pressure did get to them in the end. However, congratulations to the both teams and especially to Japan for being true champions.

red-flag tackle in the 120th minute of course, which possibly cost the Americans the winning goal.

Yeah, I was cringing at that straight red card given at such a late stage in the match (you could see a few of the American women looking sheepish, as if they got away with something as they were taking their free kick). I guess it was telling that despite a few shoddy calls in the match (such as an offsides in the 65th minute, which was definitely onside and should have resulted in Japan scoring a go-ahead goal), Japan fought through it and came out the winner. Call it poetic justice if you will.

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What makes this win even more impressive is that unlike the US Japan doesn't have a professional women's league. Japan's L-League is nonprofessional and many players have to keep day jobs, with practice in the evenings, to make ends meet. Nor do they have huge numbers to pull from Collages and the like. California alone has some 200,000 registered players alone. Japan has somewhere around 25,000. Not to mention little to no corporate sponsorship up to this point. This makes this win all the more important and can only ad-mange what it means for Japan's Women's Soccer program. What Women's FIFA World Cup has achieved in it relativity short history is impressive to say the least. It could have been quite different an outcome as we have seen in other sports such as Baseball & Softball. Ironically in almost identical circumstances.

A heavily favored US Women's Softball Team lost to Japan in what was to be the last showing in Olympic Competition. A truly tragic outcome to a sport which was just starting to gain some ground. To the US credit they made great strides in promoting the sport but to little to late to matter. This has created somewhat of a firestorm back home and a grassroots campaign to attempt to get it reinstated. As one young 14 year old girl stated at a news conference. "Collage ball is just not the same as Olympic Competition." " It is not the same as representing your county at this stage and at this level of play." "If we don't have that to shoot for, why bother." Strong statement which could mean trouble and put the entire softball program in jeopardy if this holds indefinitely. I haven't met a young teen yet which lives softball who doesn't have Olympic Games burned into the back of her mind lol.

The point being of this is that despite the US past 2 World Cup wins which were well deserved. It is important to see WCS move forward at this level of play. This world cup has seen some amazing performances by both teams and will only help to further it's continued growth. The sheer iron grit and determination Japan has displayed is proof enough for me Women's Soccer has entered the foray and is here to stay. I could not have asked for a better showing both these teams have displayed throughout this World Cup. What a way to end this epic tournament as will be one to remember for the ages. I hope this brings some closure to the Japanese people and hope for the future. Way to represent!!

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ReikiZen - you don't happen to like Bold print, do you?

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I can't be happier when I knew Japan won the champion in Women's World Cup. I just brust into tears when I heard the result. So proud of Japanese's spirit!! Congratulation!!

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Give more power to Women for a change. With all the problems the world is experiencing, it's about time women took a larger role in running the world. Japan recovery will definitely need a major role of women at the Government level and elsewhere. May this Worl Cup win be the beginning of a new and prosperous era in Japan. Hopefully, the Japanese will show the way to the rest of the world in overcoming adversity. With Love, a gentleman from a far away country.

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So proud of these ladies. What a gutsy effort. I cannot believe their perseverance to win. No matter if they win the title 10 times, nothing will be as sweet as this maiden victory. Sawa is all world. What a leader, what a team.And now, they're the champs !!!

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When you come from behind twice and then win a shootout I have to say that it was guts and perseverance all the way. Very well done, they earned that win the hard way!

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Fantastic victory great to see the Japanese lift the world cup as champions, funny to see USA team in tears before the game they said trophy was theirs lol

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Big credit to both teams. Lord knows they don't do it for the money.

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ReikiZenJul. 18, 2011 - 10:32PM JST. What makes this win even more impressive is that unlike the US Japan doesn't have a professional women's league. Japan's L-League is nonprofessional and many players have to keep day jobs, with practice in the evenings, to make ends meet.

Some of the players have U.S. pro and European experience. Sameshima is the only player on Japan’s team that currently plays professionally the U.S. with the Boston Breakers. Sawa also played with the Washington Freedom and Atlanta Beat. Miyama played for Los Angeles Sol team that advanced to the first WPS championship game in 2009 and also St. Louis Athletica in 2010. From what they learned, these players taught different techniques to their teamates. They are a great role model. Job well done.

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Reikizen, I was wondering why your post seemed familiar then I realized you copied and pasted part of it from some news article I've read online.

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herefornow and freakashow,

It was a red card because it was a "professional" foul. She was the last defender intentionally fouling to deny a legit scoring chance. She had to do it to prevent a score, but she also knew she's gonna get carded for it. Normally, it'd be a yellow card, but since she's the last defender (save the goalkeeper), it's a red card. Part of the game.

Anyways, congrats to Sawa! Yet, this may be her last World Cup, and I fear that this may be an one-off for Japan without her, kinda like what happened to China's Golden Girl generation (who reached the 1999 WC finals) after their star Sun Wen retired. (Ya don't hear much about the Steel Roses nowadays, do you?)

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Speed, when is it considered "bad sportsmanship" to cry after a loss in the states? Maybe in the 1920s, not today. Happens all the time after big games. Ever been to or seen a post-game press conference? The coach is even shedding tears.

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Speed

embarrassing amount of crying

Oh, okay. You're one of those people who think crying is embarrasing. Gotcha!

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Read and weep:

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/lopresti/2011-07-18-Womens-World-Cup_n.htm

Hope Solo reacts after the U.S. soccer team lost the Women's World Cup in a penalty shootout.

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They deserve alot of respect.

And I hope the team will visit Fukushima, other hit areas and let the kids touch the trophy.

I hope the get alot of endorsement deals and tv time. To much is focused on men`s sports in Japan. They won !!!!!!

I`m not going to jump on the bandwagon and buy a jersey.

The funny part is - they didn`t have a them song. Or Smap with a theme song The Japanese men`s team had the annoying theme song

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@some14some

it was philanthropic gesture by USA to encourage Tohoku region

...it's like rubbing salt on a bleeding wound.

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I have an idea that I wonder what others think about it: As a tribute to not only this great soccer team, Nadeshiko Japan, but equally as a tribute and reminder of those lost in the great Tohoku disaster, on every school girl's soccer jersey, sew a swatch of pink just like on the World Cup winning players' jerseys. A simple yet powerful gesture. What do you say, Japan?

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Mark MaysJUL. 19, 2011 - 07:37AM JST Speed, when is it considered "bad sportsmanship" to cry after a loss in the states? Maybe in the 1920s, not today. Happens all the time after big games. Ever been to or seen a post-game press conference? The coach is even shedding tears.

I agree. I do see it often and find it distasteful. Especially when coaches do it.

Sorry, I may be old fashioned, but yes I do find crying after losing to be poor sportsmanship. I've been playing organized sports since I was a little kid and coaches would get quite angry when a teammate of mine would cry for not winning. To me that IS poor sportsmanship.

I don't mean to belabor the point, but when Waubach quickly congratulated the Japanese team it made me very proud of her for retaining her composure and showing good sportsmanship after their heartbreaking loss. Which, by the way, was one of the best soccer games I've ever seen.

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Omedeto Nippon! i am happy to see your victory! ....Gembete'ne!

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Their latest excuse for losing just in:

Hope Solo believes her refusal to resort to dirty tricks may have cost the United States the Women’s World Cup.

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It seems to me that American goalkeeper Solo did not receive enough time to fully recover or should have been substituted even at that time before the finish of the regular time. When a goalkeeper was hurt, I remember from earlier games, it took longer waiting times. This was a little too hasty ,in my opinion.

my earlier link (in response to sojherde comment above) didnt work so I'm posting it again

Solo: Theatrics could’ve saved Americans

<>http://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/news?slug=ro-rogers_solo_plays_through_injury_071711

Solo injured her knee in a collision with Japan’s Yukari Kinga early in the second period of extra-time with the Americans leading by a goal. She opted not to receive treatment at the time, But Solo’s knee complaint worsened, and by the time there were only four minutes of extra time left she had no option but to call for the trainer and play was halted while she was treated on the field.

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Skeptical Hippo!! Not excuse! Fact!!!! Here is the deal folks, The US showed great composer. Even when getting off the bus in the US they held their heads high. Gave praise to the Japanese team and a few of them said that they were happy that Japan won because of what the "country" is going through. Had the roles all been reversed, I doubt such a thing would have happened. There would still be lots of crying on the pitch. Interviews with boo hooing playes who would make no sense at all when they spoke and than the tears of sadness in interviews back here in Japan. A huge display of "we did our best" and lots of people here feeling sorry for them. I really wish this mindset would change. I am truly sorry to offend, but YIKES! I am proud of both teams, but would not have been if the girls in blue would have lost. Peace all.

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Skeptical Hippo. Solo didn't use dirty tactics which is so common in the world cup. It is not an excuse. It is fact. I am proud of her.

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Great achievement for Japanese football, and nice to see just 4 months after March 11. Glad to see most people did not treat this US-Japan match as a proxy for refighting World War II. That's stupid. Also, Japanese athletes are far past the point where they are underestimated, ridiculed, or looked down on by anybody, so disabuse yourselves of the notion that the American ladies were thinking this was going to be a cakewalk. No non-Western peoples on this planet are more determined to beat Westerners at their own games than the Japanese. This is well-known and understood by Westerners, not just in sports but in every other arena as well.

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Speed Jul. 19, 2011 - 03:09PM JST. Sorry, I may be old fashioned, but yes I do find crying after losing to be poor sportsmanship. I've been playing organized sports since I was a little kid and coaches would get quite angry when a teammate of mine would cry for not winning. To me that IS poor sportsmanship.

Grow up. Is it that big of a deal to you? Did you hear any of the U.S. players talk down on few of the Japanese crying? None. Maybe only you. The U.S. and Japanese players worked so hard to get to the championship. Emotions runs deep. Heck, I saw Audrey Huff, the Giants first basemen crying when they won the World Series, does this make him a poor sportsmanship?

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Women often cry as they are more emotional than men. You can even see them cry when watching tv or films and something sad happens. Mens emotions are better balanced so it is not natural for a man to cry at events like these. I know some men do and maybe they should be trained to have an old fashioned stiff upper lip. I think when men cry they have a hormonal inbalance that may well be a symptom of them trying to get in touch with their feminim side.

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Post of the Week

Kersey23

I am proud of both teams, but would not have been if the girls in blue would have lost

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sfjp330 Grow up. Is it that big of a deal to you?... Heck, I saw Audrey Huff, the Giants first basemen crying when they won the World Series, does this make him a poor sportsmanship?>

You don't read very well, do you? Yes, this is exactly my point. Try to understand it.

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There would still be lots of crying on the pitch. Interviews with boo hooing playes who would make no sense at all when they spoke and than the tears of sadness in interviews back here in Japan.

Sincerely doubt it would have been as overblown as you stated since Sawa-san herself stated that receiving any medal of any kind would have made her happy. Even the coach was ready for the possible disappointment of losing in the PK, as he was all smiles in the huddle, for the fact that they (along with the U.S.) were able to make it such an entertaining match up to that point. The U.S. coach looked more tense before the PK, since desperation was sinking in.

Personally, I feel that had Japan lost, there would have been a few tears initially, but those would soon turn to smiles since they were able to have played against the #1 ranked team better than just about any other team has ever played them. I could actually see the Japanese women coming home to the same hero's welcome that the U.S. women received, since getting silver is nothing to sneeze at. I feel that the accomplishment for Japan to have gotten a silver medal would have been a far greater achievement than the U.S. getting a silver medal, since the U.S. were heavy favorites to win from the beginning. In this game, it was the U.S. women who had more pressure because they were expected to win. For the Japanese women, their goal was to put up a good fight and show to the world their glorious and beautiful game.

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they (Japan) were able to have played against the #1 ranked team better than just about any other team has ever played them.

-that may be true, but on this day -You were #1- ---> and that's all that matters.

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Excellent Game! Anyone (smithinjapan specifically) who wants to whine on how America dominated needs to check their facts at none other than FIFA's own website calculating the statistics of the game. Japan possessed the ball for a longer time had more direct shots on goal than the US (only 1 more) so please enough with they hyperbole... http://www.fifa.com/womensworldcup/matches/round=255989/match=300144437/statistics.html Japan changed up their style to defend against what had been brutal lightning fast attacks that took down France (But even there the US looked out played) It went to PKs cause they were both evenly matched teams... Other sports can resort to other measures to resolve equally matched teams: extra innings, best out of series, or extra time but soccer requires an exorbitant of running that just can't be sustained for more than 2 hours... PKs aren't a crappy way to win it is an excellent way to win... Apply stupid principles of American football is moronic!!! Both teams played excellent and means it was close game now you are taking it to a level of mental skill and prowess. The final skill of being able to place the ball in the net when all the pressure is now in your head shows true sportsmanship. As a goalie for 30+ years I learned that the pressure was never on us cause any half decent player should have no trouble scoring with the limitations set to us must stay on the line and can't move until after they do. Our job is to psyche out the kicker and make them miss or kick it to us and that is exactly what Kaihori did...3 times Lloyd choked so hard she didn't even place the ball in the vicinity of the net. Winning a championship means bringing your A game until it is over.... and that includes the PK portion. Don't like it? Watch other sports their are plenty out there... Football/soccer fans don't need anymore armchair idiots commenting on a sport they have no idea what they are talking about. For the idiots crying on about the "dirty play"... need to read up on the rules... it was issued because the referee has to issue a card on a foul committed during what could be a scoring play. Iwanishi did in fact touch the ball and was going for it not Alex Morgan's legs it was a legitimate attempt that any given player would have attempted there was no high flaying leg obvious lifted up to trip...unfortunately because she didn't come away with the ball a card foul must be called and the fact that it could have been a scoring play a red is often issued though some think it should have been a yellow.... but there was Nothing dirty about it. Watch it for yourselves don't take my word http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkAOftIGDX0 Besides the US was given an excellent scoring opportunity (most professional soccer players will tell you a set penalty shot that close is much better opportunity than when Morgan was scrambling into penalty box on a fast breakaway with her weak foot required to make the shot... 5 times before when she had broke away before she came up empty handed so there is no saying she would've scored then had she not been fouled) and guess what again the US choked the opportunity... However I do have to give huge kudos of Abby who did go out here way to congratulate the Japan side before the official shaking of hands. Both teams played valiantly and showed excellent sportsmanship... Japan just had the mental prowess to pull it all together the US lost their composure when Japan rallied to tie the game in the overtime...

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To all, nobody reads long posts.

The only way Japan could have won is by shootout. It's the shame of soccer. The U.S. team was way more athletic and exciting.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

strong women ..men become sweet..

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