The final weekend of the Women’s World Cup had plenty of drama, goals and some surprise results. The first surprise result came when England got their first ever win over Germany to finish as Bronze medalists in the competition and then the expected competitive final between USA and Japan turned into a completely one sided tie as USA ran away with the game.
The final weekend of the Women’s World Cup began with the 3rd place play-off as England took on Germany on Saturday night to fight it out for the competitions bronze medals. Germany entered the game as strong favourites as the last time the two sides met, the Germans won 3-0 and England hadn’t beaten them in the Women’s game in 31 years. It was Germany who started strongest as they dominated possession early on in the game but failed to score as Sasic should have put them ahead with an early chance. England’s Lucy Bronze drove her team forward and England began to show they had a chance in the game but also failed to put away their few chances.
The game couldn’t be decided in 90 minutes so it entered extra-time where England were by far the more impressive side. In the second half of extra time, the breakthrough finally arrived as Germany’s Kemme brought down Lianne Sanderson in the area and England were awarded a penalty. Germany’s Popp caused controversy by attempting to put off Fara Williams while German keeper Angerer looked calm and focused but Williams showed she had nerves of steel by slotting the ball in the bottom left hand corner to put England 1-0 up. England were given a few nervy moments in the last minutes as Germany attempted to gain an equaliser but they held out to win the tie 1-0. England were deserved winners in this tie as they showed incredible character to overcome a talented German side after their heartbreak against Japan during the week. The England ladies have been one of the most enjoyable sides to watch in this summer’s tournament and lets hope that the exposure they’ll gain from finishing third will only help the English national side and the FAWSL grow stronger.
The main event occured on Sunday night as USA and Japan faced off in the final which was a repeat of the 2011 final which Japan won on penalties. It was expected be a close game between the two teams but USA turned up and took over from the beginning. It only took USA 3 minutes to go ahead as Lloyd’s third-minute opener was the quickest ever goal in a Women’s World Cup final as she latched onto Rapinoe’s perfect corner. The 32-year-old added another two minutes later after Japan failed to clear a free-kick. The Americans weren’t finished as they continued to embarrass Japan by going 3-0 up after 14 minutes as Holiday’s volley put them 3-0 up before Lloyd scored a sensational goal from the half-way line to make it 4-0 in the 16th minute.
Yuki Ogim struck for Japan after 27 minutes to give her side a well needed lift but it was 4-1 going in at the break. A Johnston own goal in the 52nd minute gave Japan slight hope and USA a small fright but Heath wrapped up the game up in the 54th minute to restore USA’s three goal lead. The game didn’t have any more goals after the hour mark but it was clear to see that the 53,341 fans in attendance had been entertained by this incredible USA team. It is no surprise that the stadium burst into chants of U-S-A once they lifted the trophy.