Japan beat the USA at a penalty shoot-out in Germany on Sunday 17th July 2011. Ayumi Kaihori, who plays for INAC Leonessa, saved two goals, giving Saki Kumagai of Urawa Reds Ladies the chance to take the World Cup with a last-chance goal.
The penalty shoot-out followed a 2-2 draw with goals from Aya Miyama, Homare Sawa, Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach. The final played out in front of a crowd of over 48,000 in Frankfurt.
Nadeshiko Japan coach, Norio Sasaki, said afterwards:
“Our players played with great patience and did a good job. The United States played a wonderful possession game with sharp attacking power that made it hard to play our style of football. But our players played really tenaciously to the end, just like they did against Germany. I am grateful to them and also to the people in Japan who have cheered and supported us.”
Kaihori’s fellow club member, Homare Sawa, was named Player of the Tournament and won the Golden Boot.