Japan women's football team settle for 2nd in World Cup

Japan women's football team settle for 2nd in World Cup
Saori Ariyoshi, second from left, and Homare Sawa, left, react after Nadeshiko Japan lost to the United States in the Women’s World Cup final in Vancouver on Sunday.
PHOTO: The Japan News/ANN

VANCOUVER - Nadeshiko Japan's reign as champion ended with a 5-2 loss to the United States in the final of the FIFA Women's World Cup on Sunday.

Japan, ranked fourth in the world, gave up a goal just three minutes into the match and fell behind 4-0 after just 16 minutes to the second-ranked Americans. The 2011 World Cup champions struck back on Yuki Ogimi's goal in the 27th minute and an own goal, but the United States replied with another goal and went on to win its third title and first since 1999.

Japan, which defeated the United States in a penalty shootout in the 2011 final, lost to the Americans for the gold medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

"With a variety of pressures from being the champion over the past four years, we were able to get to this stage," Japan coach Norio Sasaki said. "The players did a great job. Making it to the final is a success in my book."

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