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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Norio Sasaki
Though winning its first women's World Cup won't solve Japan's problems, the courage and resilience of the team will inspire many who have been laden with bad news since the March 11 disasters.
Japan became the first Asian nation to win the Women's World Cup on Sunday, beating the United States in a penalty shootout after both sides were level at 2-2 after extra time.
With two World Cup titles and three Olympic gold medals, the United States has history on its side in Sunday's final against Japan.
Used to be, you could predict the lineup for the final four at the Women's World Cup before the tournament began.
Meticulous planning and execution are everything in Japanese soccer. So when the team falls behind, there is a system to rely on, a belief there is still a way to win.
Meticulous planning and execution are everything in Japanese soccer. So when the team falls behind, there is a system to rely on, a belief that there is a way back.
Homare Sawa made up for a huge error by scoring the go-ahead goal and Japan advanced to theWorld Cup final with a 3-1 victory over Sweden on Wednesday.
Only hours before their quarterfinal match of the World Cup, captain Homare Sawa and the rest of the Japanese players were transfixed by slides of the devastation heaped on their country from the earthquake and tsunami.
Japan carries memories of the devastation the tsunami heaped on its country into every game at this Women's World Cup.
Japan knocked two-time defending champion Germany out of the Women's World Cup on Saturday, advancing to the semifinals with a 1-0 win when substitute Karina Maruyama outran the defense and scored on an angled shot in extra time.