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Hope Solo Wins Golden Glove as U.S. Women Lose to Japan in Women’s World Cup Finals on Penalty Kicks

Despite leading for most of the final and being just 6 minutes away from winning their 3rd World Cup, the U.S. fell to Japan in the Women’s World Cup Finals.The U.S. team took the first lead of the game in the second half on the 69th minute when World Cup rookie Alex Morgan scored the first goal of the finals. America would hold onto the lead briefly.

Japan fired right back in the 80th minute with a goal from Aya Miyama. The game would stay tied through regulation.

In extra time, and with just 6 minutes left in the game, Abby Wombach made what looked like to be another game winning header into the opponents net at the 104th minute. The goal gave America a 2-1 lead in the final minutes of extra time and what most thought was the game winning goal. Japan had other plans.

On the 117th minute of extra time, 3 minutes before the end of Japan’s magnificent run, Homare Sawa made her 5th goal of the Women’s World Cup, tying it at 2-2 and sending it to penalty kicks.

America had not missed a penalty kick during the entire tournament. However, that also meant Japan had seen all the American’s moves and tendencies in these situations. Japan had not attempted a penalty kick the entire tournament, leaving U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo without the same edge as Ayumi Kaihori of Japan.

Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath all missed their penalty kicks. Lloyd’s was the worst, she kicked it clear over the net. Wombach was the only U.S. player to make a penalty kick.

Solo tried valiantly and stopped 1 of Japan’s 4 penalty kicks while the game winner bounced off her hand and  into the net to close this Women’s World Cup.

Japan is the first Asian nation to win the World Cup. They did it with their first win in 26 tries against the U.S.

Abby Wombach won the Silver Ball and and Hope Solo  won the Bronze Ball of the tournament. The Golden Ball was given to Homare Sawa as the best player of the tournament. Wombach also won the Bronze Boot as the  3rd best scorer of the tournament behind Sawa who won the gold and Marta of Brazil who won silver.  Solo won the Golden Glove as the best goalkeeper of the tournament.

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