USA Vs. Japan, 2011 Women's World Cup Final: Homare Sawa Goal Forces Penalties

The final of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup is headed to penalty kicks, much to the surprise of no one. Yes, Abby Wambach scored what was seemingly the winner in the 104th minute - the 14th minute of extra time - but followers of the team know that the USWNT can't possibly do anything the easy way. Like it was written for a movie script, Homare Sawa scored an equalizer with a great header in the second half, becoming the leading goal scorer in the tournament and equalizing for Japan. It's 2-2 after 120 minutes, and the teams head to penalties.

Incredibly, the United States had a chance to win the game even after Sawa's equalizer. In the 120th minute, Alex Morgan was hauled down on the edge of the penalty area by Azusa Iwashimizu, who was shown a straight red card for denial of a clear goal scoring opportunity. With the time on the clock reading what it did, she ultimately made the correct decision to take the sending off for her team, and her tackle has given her team a 50-50 chance to win the game with spot kicks at the end.

Since this is a scripted tournament - I think Hope Solo's biopic, actually - it would be going against the script for Solo not to make a big save or two.


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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.

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