The USA women have been in control and creating chances throughout the first half of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final, but a combination of bad luck, bad finishing, and some tough defending by Japan have kept them off the board. After 45 minutes of play, the score is still tied up at 0-0, but it hasn't been a boring scoreless draw by any stretch of the imagination.
Arguably, this half has been the best half of soccer that the USWNT has put together in the entire tournament. Incredibly, they have nothing to show for it, with all of their efforts failing to produce a goal. The United States have created 12 shots, almost all of which were great chances, but only one of their shots - their first of the match - forced a save out of goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori. While most of the shots were very near misses that avoided the goal by less than a foot - Wambach's shot off the crossbar coming the closest - the fact is that the shots aren't hitting the frame and that the United States needs to do better.
Japan is likely to do a better job of keeping the ball and preventing the United States from creating scoring chances from themselves in the second half, so the finishing has to improve drastically for the USWNT. They won't get another 12 shots in the next 45 minutes, so they're going to have to make the most of the ones they get.
For live updates throughout the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup Final, keep it on our World Cup Final StoryStream. Also taking place right now are the Copa America quarterfinals, so head over to our Brazil vs. Paraguay StoryStream for updates on that. For all kinds of coverage on world football, check out SB Nation Soccer.