FIFA: Shocks continue in Women’s World Cup
Shocks continue to abound in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup with defending two-time winners Germany crashing out in their home tournament on Saturday whilst Brazil went out on penalties to the United States on Sunday.
Saturday saw Germany unexpectedly go out to Japan with Karina Maruyama’s goal in the second half of extra-time sealing the fate of the tournament hosts who were hoping to win a third straight world crown following their wins in 2003 and 2007. Japan, on the other hand, will go on to meet Sweden in the semi-finals after the latter disposed of the Matildas of Australia with a 3-1 score line on Sunday. Goals from Therese Sjögran, Lisa Dahlkvist and Lotta Schelin helped the Swedes reach the last four with Ellyse Perry’s strike just before half-time proving a consolation for the Australians.
The “English Disease” used to be hooliganism but is now an inability to win a match by virtue of a penalty shoot-out. The Three Lionesses were just two minutes away from going through to the last four on Saturday before Elise Bussaglia equalized Jill Scott’s earlier strike to send the game into extra-time, in which no further goals were scored. England had the initiative throughout most of the shoot-out but two misses from Claire Rafferty and Faye White helped send the English home and meant the French had qualified for the semi-finals for the first time ever. They will meet the United States for whom Ali Krieger was on hand to score the winning goal in a penalty shoot-out against Brazil. Five times FIFA Women’s World Player of the Year Marta bagged a brace during the game which helped overturn a 2nd minute own goal from Daiane that gave the Americans the lead. However the game was in stoppage time in extra-time when Abby Wambach got the crucial equalizer to send the game into the penalty shoot-out from which the USA went through to the next round.
The semi-final matches will be played on Wednesday, July 13th with the USA meeting France in Mönchengladbach whilst Japan and Sweden will face off in the German capital of women’s football Frankfurt.