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Women's World Cup 2011: Final Score, Analysis from World Cup Final

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY - JULY 17:  Hope Solo of USA looks on during the FIFA Women's World Cup Final match between Japan and USA at the FIFA World Cup stadium Frankfurt on July 17, 2011 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.  (Photo by Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images)
Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images
Neri SteinFeatured ColumnistJuly 15, 2011

Japan defeated the US in the World Cup final 3-1 on penalties after coming back twice in regular and extra time to win its first World Cup.

The US dominated the game throughout but missed a host of great chances early on, and it came back to haunt them.

Second-half substitute Alex Morgan gave the US the lead in the 69th minute after a great pass from Megan Rapinoe, and the US surely looked like going on to win it.

Then defensive confusion gifted Aya Miyama the equalizer in the 81st minute. 

The US came back in extra time though, and Abby Wambach scored her 13th World Cup goal in the 103rd minute.

But Japan still had the fight in them. Homare Sawa scored her fifth goal of the tournament just four minutes before time to send the game to penalties, though the US did have a late free-kick opportunity.

Then, the US let it go in penalties. The US missed its first three penalty chances (spectacularly), and Solo was only able to save from Nagasato.

It was probably the US's best overall match, but they couldn't score the goals when it counted. A complete opposite storyline of the previous five games.

Japan showed great heart throughout the match, but you have to say they're a little lucky to be hoisting the trophy. 

Final Score: USA 2-2 Japan Full-time, Japan wins 3-1 on penalties 

Morgan 68', Miyama 80'

Wambach 103', Sawa 116'  

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