5 Things to Watch for in USA vs. Japan in the Women’s World Cup Final

The womens World Cup title game, between the U.S. and Japan, in Frankfurt, kicks off at 2:45 Eastern time today. Here are five things to watch for in of the most highly anticipated games in U.S. soccer history.1. Can the U.S. Play the Possession Game?U.S. coach Pia Sundhage has indicated that the U.S. will try to play possession soccer against Japan. That means the team will look to control the ball and show off their technical soccer skills – short passing, movement – rather than try to just outrun the defense with long passes downfield. Another benefit of playing possession: the more time you spend chipping the ball to one another, the less time you spend chasing the offensive team all over the field, tiring yourself out.

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Japan at the Womens World Cup

Meticulous planning and execution are everything in Japanese soccer. So when the team falls behind, there is a system to rely on, a belief there is still a way to win.Japan is in its first Women’s World Cup final, and its quick passing could pose a challenge for the favored United States on Sunday.Coach Norio Sasaki has been planning for this moment since the 2008 Olympics.

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Japan beats Sweden 3-1 for place in final of World Cup

Homare Sawa made up for a huge error by scoring the go-ahead goal and Japan advanced to the World Cup final with a 3-1 victory over Sweden on Wednesday.Surprise starter Nahomi Kawasumi had two goals for Japan, which will face the United States in Sunday’s championship. It’s the first World Cup final for the rising soccer power.Kawasumi had just played 29 minutes in the tournament before coach Norio Sasaki started her in Japan’s biggest game ever.“She is very tough and fit,” he said. “I didn’t ask her to score two goals but she did an excellent job.”

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Japan beats Germany in Women’s World Cup

Japan knocked two-time defending champion Germany out of the Women’s World Cup on Saturday, advancing to the semifinals with a 1-0 win when substitute Karina Maruyama outran the defense and scored on an angled shot in extra time.

Japan absorbed relentless pressure during the match, gaining its first World Cup semifinal and handing Germany its first loss in the tournament in a dozen years.

Standout midfielder Homare Sawa spotted Maruyama’s deep run in the 108th minute, served her perfectly and Maruyama slipped it past goalie Nadine Angerer to silence the sellout crowd of 26,067 and an expectant nation.

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Germany favorite over Japan in quarterfinals

Germany is towering over Japan in the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals with a height advantage nearly as big as the home field advantage.The sellout crowd of 26,000 will be cheering for the host team Saturday as the nation has done since the tournament started two weeks ago. And with its penchant for lethal headers, Germany should have a distinct advantage over the much smaller Japanese.The Asian side is renowned for passing combinations and quickness. But when England used a physical game in the last group game, Japan lost 2-0. Germany, too, is expected to step up with bold challenges.

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England beats Japan 2-0 in Women’s World Cup

England turned the threat of first-round elimination into Group B victory with a 2-0 win over Japan to reach the Women’s World Cup quarterfinals on Tuesday.

After a lackluster first two games, England was spectacular in its decisive game. After 15 minutes, Sophie Bradley sent a deep ball from her half toward Ellen White, who forward spotted goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori off her line. She let the ball bounce once and lobbed it over Kaihori with exquisite precision from 21 meters out.

In the 66th, England came up with a second good goal, when Rachel Unitt shrugged off several Japanese defenders to set up substitute forward Rachel Yankey for a delicate chip and the insurance goal.

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Japan reaches quarterfinals at World Cup

With a perfect two victories out of two matches, Japan has reached the quarterfinals of the World Cup with flair and a tournament-leading six goals so far. England was saved by a fighting performance to earn another day at the tournament.

Homare Sawa got the World Cup’s first hat trick to lead Japan past Mexico 4-0.

For England, gangly midfielder Jill Scott was just as important with a goal and an assist to resurrect England’s campaign with 2-1 win over New Zealand.

It gave Japan 6 points, two more than England, whic

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