Watch FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 Live Streams Online
July 19, 2011 by Richard · Comments Off
Nothing short of a thriller, the Womenâ€™s World Cup Final on 17 July earned the highest television rating for a soccer game ever to be televised on an ESPN network. The WC finals drew over 548,000 unique viewers for the ESPN3 telecasts, the biggest so far for any womenâ€™s sports event so far. Japanâ€™s comeback from a 2-2 deadlock to beat the United States 3-1 in penalty kicks on Sunday attracted a 7.4 fast national rating. The previous high 4.0 was for last yearâ€™s U.S.-Algeria menâ€™s World Cup match.
With an average of almost 13.5 million viewers, the US Japan face off was the sixth most watched soccer telecast ever in the United States though the record high of 11.4 is still held by the 1999 Womenâ€™s World Cup final. Television ratings measure the percentage of all households with televisions that tune into a program. Though falling short of the all time high of 13.3 rating drawn by USA-China in the 1999 Final, the USA-Japan match registered a blockbuster 8.6 overnight rating on ESPN Sunday. Two things are to be kept in mind hereâ€“ the 1999 game was telecast on ABC and was held in the US. The greatest no. of viewers on 17 July was from Baltimore, followed by DC and Norfolk in the Top 5. The point is that people like events featuring US teams.
It was also noted that the womenâ€™s soccer rating even topped the average rating for the 2010 World Series between the Giants and the Rangers and this too in the middle of the football season. The reason behind this is that the World Series was at night when more people watch TV and it was aired on network TV. In fact, the rating for the USA-Japan final also surpassed that of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. So the bottom line is that a large number of people preferred watching the womenâ€™s soccer final to all of the other sports events. This is not only due to the relative novelty of womenâ€™s soccer but also the fact that the WC finale was a one time event and not a seasonal feature. Moreover this was the first time that Japan had made it to the final of the Womenâ€™s World Cup and that too against top-ranked USA. The US media had stood firmly behind their national team but critics were pointing to the sentimental significance of the match for the Japanese who had suffered a recent disaster in their homeland and certain advantages that their team had over the US side.
July 19, 2011 by Richard · Comments Off
The North Korean delegation told FIFAâ€™s medical Committee that the steroids had not been taken to improve the playersâ€™ performance. However, the case (the biggest doping scandal at a major soccer tournament in 17 years) will be taken up by FIFA’s disciplinary committee after which the players could face a ban of up to two years. According to article 58 of the FIFA Anti-Doping Regulations, which states that â€śWhere more than one member of a team has been notified of an anti-doping rule violation under chapter VIII in connection with a competition, the ruling body for the competition shall conduct appropriate target testing of the team during the competition periodâ€ť The whole North Korean team was therefore subjected by FIFA to an anti-doping test after the teamâ€™s last match in the competition. The target testing of the team was coordinated with World Anti Doping Agency. However, with the proceedings underway, FIFA will not disclose the names of the three suspended players as per the World Anti-Doping Code.
Since the March 11 Earthquake which caused 23,000 people to die/go missing, Japan has had a mournful year so far. Now with a major sports victory, they can rejoice and rally behind their team. A tight competition with USA at the jam packed Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt on 17 July remained tied 2-2 to the end of the 90 minutes and went into extra time but was finally decided on penalty kicks which Japan won 3-1 to finally clinch their first ever World Cup. 48,800 spectators cheered the match at the Commerzbank Arena that has a capacity of just over 50,000.
Japan 2-2 USA
The US team somehow missed the mark many times as they lost dozens of opportunities to score and their 2-1 lead to Japan just six minutes before the end. Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath all failed to score in the penalty kicks. Solo missed two kicks into the net while midfielder Carli Lloyd shot one that was too wide letting Japanese defender Ski Kumagai rally a successful kick into the net past Solo to decide the tense penalty shootout. Japan has finally broken USAâ€™s winning streak of 25 caps and is now 1-23-3, being outscored 79-15 in 26 matches versus the U.S. All eyes were on Hope Solo when she faced the Japanese strikersâ€”she made one save but missed twice and lost another as Japan cruised to victory in their first World Cup. Sports criticsâ€™ observation which had earlier pointed to defensive weaknesses in the US team was borne out by the lapses that allowed Japan to tie the match in the last few minutes of the match which the US had basically dominated throughout.
Alex Morgan, the youngest player in the US team came on to the field in the second half and taking advantage of a long pass scored the first goal for the US in the 69th minute giving her team a 1-0 lead against Japan. But his did not deter the Japanese who equalized in the 81st minute taking advantage of a mishit from Rachel Buehler trying to clear the ball to teammate Ali Krieger. The shot was latched onto by Aya Miyama who cruised one past Hope Solo. But things turned around again for the US as Abby Wambach scored a header in overtime in the 104th minute which gave USA a 2-1 lead against Japan. Alex Morgan had picked up the ball beating the Japanese defender and passed it on to Wambach in midfield who drove it all the way to the net past Ayumi Kaihori. This late goal was Wambach’s fourth in the tournament and her 13th World Cup goal was a record 122nd international goal for the US.
With the US looking to dominate in overtime as well, Japan launched a concerted counter attack. After coming close to the net in the 109th and 115th minute, Japan equalized the US lead in the 117th. It was 32-year old Homare Sawa, Japanâ€™s enthusiastic captain who used the corner kick near the post flicking it past the famously vigilant Hope Solo. It was Sawaâ€™s fifth goal in the tournament.
Commentators have wondered how the US who dominated much of the long-awaited final on Sunday simply failed to retain their hold. They tackled the Japanese defense fiercely but failed to score for long stretches of the match. The US team had 12 shots in the first half but scored only one. ESPN’s sports commentator Julie Foudy had remarked on how the U.S. was playing a “compact defensive style” but on the night of the final the need of the hour was â€śbetter coordinationâ€ť. Lauren Chaney missed a cross from Megan Rapinoe by inches, Wambach shot one close hit over the net too many and Rapinoe missed from a couple of yards hitting the left post and Wambach hit the underside of the crossbar and so on. Japanese goalie Kaihori was in top form at the goal during the first half defending her side with quick and agile movements even without much support from her back line. Shannon Boxx make a low key offensive against rival aces Sawa, Miyama and Ando but missed many an open opportunity.
The Japanese also had a tough time penetrating the US defense with only four shots in the first half but never getting one past Solo. Japan went into the second half contented that the US lead of 2-1 was narrow enough to be overcome. Lauren Chaney the most promising US player of the tournament left the field in the second half due to an ankle injury. US coach Pia Sundhage replaced her with Alex Morgan the striker who had scored the third winning goal against France in the semi final on 13 July 2011. But the second half proved to be as inconclusive as the first one with the Americans launching time and again against hapless but efficient Kaihori. Luck could have turned in the 49th minute when Heather O’Reilly sent a deep cross to Alex Morgan from the right corner but the ball remained near the goal line for a second or two before it was picked up by the Japanese for clearing. Finally it was Aya Miyama, who tied up the 2-1 lead once again with only 10 minutes left in regulation through a successful tackle in front of the net. The match tied to the end went into penalty kicks and the rest as we know is history.
With a background of recent tragedy in their homeland, Japan were certainly the sentimental favorites to win the final in Frankfurt. The US too had its share of fans with the US President himself wishing them well on Twitter. Japanâ€™s coach Norio Sasaki kept reminding his team of the morale boosting potential of the match showing them pictures of the disaster in his pregame speeches. With none of the Japanese players taller than 5-7â€™ (average height of the team is 5-4) they certainly put on a determined and energetic performance against their US rivals. Japan have won the World Cup in their fifth appearance but first ever final to become the fourth nation to win the tournament besides the US, Germany and Norway. But for the US suffering from a â€śbad streakâ€ť for the past four months, this was a chance to quench their twelve year drought at the World Cup but as Amy Wambach wisely remarked â€śit was not meant to be.â€ť
The final score in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final between USA and Japan was 2 – 2 after regulation time and extra. Japan wins on penalty kicks.
USA vs Japan: 1 – 1 after regulation time. The match will go into extra time.
Sports fans have noticed great improvement in the Womenâ€™s game at the ongoing World Cup in Germany this year. Gone are the days when you would hear of lop-sided games in which teams like Sweden could easily wipe out novices like France in clean sheets like the 11-0 game and the 7-2 final of the previous World Cup. Besides, France have only made it to the World Cup once before.
Several of this tournamentâ€™s games ended in extra time and penalty kicks. France beat England 1-1 (3-4) in penalty kicks so did USA in their match against Brazil 2-2 (5-3) in the quarterfinals. Goal keepers like USAâ€™s Hope Solo, Germanyâ€™s Nadine Angerer and Franceâ€™s Celine Deville played an important role. Devilleâ€™s save of a penalty kick by English Captain Faye White in the quarterfinals left her teamâ€™s 37-year winning streak against England very much intact. However this new road to parity between teams could be challenged when FIFA holds its next Womenâ€™s World Cup in Canada with 24 instead of 16 teams. The quality of the game has also greatly improved.
Japanâ€™s surprise performance in the World Cup and emphasis on technical aspects of the game have been lauded. Upsets also took place as Germany was eliminated by Japan and Brazil ousted by USA in the quarterfinals. Compared to the US team, Japan are a younger set with only two of their players aged over 30. Critics have found interesting mixes of talent and experience as in France, youth and coordination as in Japan and athletic ability and team work as in Sweden. The tournament will also be remembered for its outstanding goals, some of which were scored in the wee hours of the game. Brazilian striker Martaâ€™s four goals of the tournament, Swedenâ€™s Marie Hammarstrom left footed strike in the 82nd minute and Homare Sawaâ€™s redemptive goal at the hour mark in her teamâ€™s semi final against Sweden on 13 July 2011 are highlights.
The challenge from lower ranking teams was evidenced from the struggles that bigger names like Brazil, Germany and the USA had to bear in the group stage matches. Top-ranked USA had its shares of ups and downs early in the World Cup when they had a slow start against North Korea in their opening game but eventually won 2-0 by speeding up in the second half. They subsequently won against Colombia but were surprisingly beaten by Sweden 1-2 in their Group C match on 6 July. So the stakes were high when they faced Brazil for the quarterfinals. The match went into extra time but it was Abby Wambachâ€™s brilliant header into the net that took the game into penalty kicks. In their next turn against France, some of their rivalsâ€™ goal keeping fumbles and acute strategy from US coach Pia Sundhage took the US to a convincing 3-1 win in their semi final encounter on 13 July.
So who will win the spectacular final on Sunday? Some are betting on Japan with their greater agility and technically oriented game. But the US is an experienced side known for its tenacity and ability to bounce back from tense moments. Itâ€™s surely a match to look forward to in a tournament that looks more than just an episode in FIFAâ€™s historically affirmative approach towards the womensâ€™ game. It has by all accounts turned out to be a genuine World Cup.
Sweden won third place at the women’s World Cup on Saturday after beating France 2-1 despite losing two players to injuries during the match for the bronze medal at the jam packed Rhein-Neckar-Arena in Sinsheim (capacity of 30,150) in the southern German city of Sinsheim on 16 July 2011. Sweden took the lead within 30 minutes of the game when Lotta Schelin took advantage of kick from about mid field from colleague Sara Larsson.
The French goalie who tried to save the goal, Berangere Sapowicz, had to be stretchered off the field after she injured her ankle following an awkward landing. In the 32nd minute, French striker Louisa Necib also injured her knee while going in for a tackle. The French struggled for another half hour before the equalizer came from Elodie Thomis who shot the ball into the net in the 56th minute. Things looked in Franceâ€™s favor when Sweden was left with only 10 players in the 68th minute after Oqvist was shown the red card for kicking Sonia Bompastor in the chest during an aggressive tackle.
Fifteen minutes after losing one player, Sweden got a corner kick which was deflected by France but soon grasped by substitute player Marie Hammarstrom. The 29-year old midfielder who had arrived on to the field as a substitute for Linda Forsberg only twenty minutes earlier, shot a precise left-footed goal in the 82nd minute to break the 1-1 tie with France when she got hold of a ball from top of the box in what appeared to be a defensive maneuver but soon turned out to be the match winner for her team. Her score with only 8 minutes left on the clock claimed the runners up position for Sweden at the Womenâ€™s FIFA World Cup.
Sweden have never won the World Cup having lost to Germany in the World Cup in 2003 and finishing third in 1991. But this was a first for France who have never made it to the final four after having beaten England on penalties in the quarterfinals in this tournament. However, both sides have now qualified for the 2012 Olympics in London through their performance in the FIFA World Cup in Germany.
Traces of a banned anabolic steroid were found in the samples although FIFA will not publish any more details until tests of their â€śBâ€ť samples have taken place. Another player, Colombian team member Yineth Varon, was provisionally suspended after she failed a doping test in Leverkusen on 25 June 2011.Varon asked for results of her â€śBâ€ť sample which backed up the original findings. Disciplinary proceedings were initiated and are still pending.
The Womenâ€™s World Cup 2011 is now in its final days with the match between Japan and USA deciding the winner tonight and the play off for 3rd place also taking place today between Sweden and France on the same day. The last big doping scandal in memory dates back to the 1994 World Cup when Argentinean ace Maradona was suspended in the middle of the tournament after failing a doping test.
Japan 3-1 Sweden
The final showdown between top ranked USA and dark horse Japan is scheduled for 17 July 2011 in Frankfurt at the Commerzbank Arena which you can watch live on ESPN at 2pm ET on Sunday. Japan has a slight familiarity advantage as the Commerzbank Arena—also known as the Waldstadion, home of Eintracht Frankfurt— is the same where Japan won their semi-final game against Sweden on Wednesday. The stadium has a capacity of just over 50,000. Both USA and Japan won 3-1 against their rivals but Japanâ€™s turn looked easier as they did not get a very tough competition from the Swedes.
USA on the other hand, were given stiff resistance from France and it took two goals in the last few minutes of the game to get the winning score. Lauren Chaney gave her team an early start when she deflected a cross from Heather Oâ€™ Reilly to score their first goal in the 9th minute. But France soon equalized in the early second half when a shot from Sonia Bompastor found its way unresisted into the net. Then Amy Wambach and Alex Morgan went on to score back to back goals in the 79th and 82nd minutes respectively. With two goals in less than five minutes, France was faced with more than just an uphill task.
For their part, the Japanese also got an early shock from the Swedes when Josefine Oqvist took advantage of an uncharacteristic error by Captain Sawa when she latched on to a defensive pass from her on the left side of the box in the tenth minute. But only nine minutes later, the Japanese scored an equalizer when Nahomi Kawasumi deflected a timely pass from Aya Miyama. From thereon, Japan dominated the field and the unavoidable came when Homare Sawa redeemed herself by hitting her fourth goal in the tournament (tying her with Brazilâ€™s Marta) and the second for her team in the 60th minute. Four minutes later, Kawasumi scored her second and Japanâ€™s third goal with a long-distance shot which passed over the goalkeeper. The Japanese won 3-1 against Sweden in full view of a 45,434 strong crowd at the Commerzbank on 13 July.
Japan had already caused the upset of the tournament when they beat favorites and hosts Germany in the quarter-finals on 9 July. After battling out a goal-less draw in ninety minutes, it was Japanese substitute Karina Maruyama who clinched the match for her team with a goal in the early second phase of extra time. The Japanese have expressed that this is their opportunity to send a positive message back home in Japan which was hit by a devastating tsunami that left nearly 23,000 people dead or missing. The final on Sunday is the first for the Japanese.
So what are the odds for USA winning the World Cup? Going back in history we find that the US has the upper hand. Japan lost both the matches they had with the US in World Cup history. In 1991, they lost to USA 3-0 in the group stage matches and in 1995 they lost to USA 4-0 in the quarter finals. They also lost two friendlies to the US prior to the FIFA Cup so chances are its going to be a stiff competition when the two teams meet for the finals on Sunday.
France 1-3 USA
The US team has many advantages not least of which is experience. 35 year-old Christie Rampone, is known for her 234 caps for the US. She along with Rachel Buelher (also called Buehldozer), Ali Kreiger, Amy LePeilbet and 33 year old Megan Rapinoe make up a strong set overall. The team also has an excellent goal keeper in Hope Solo. She could be the worldâ€™s best female goal keeper as demonstrated from her enthusiastic defense in the quarter final against Brazil which clinched the victory for her side.
Ranked 4th in the world, the Japanese are regarded as a technical side that is tougher on defense and mutual coordination than the US side. Though not as formidable looking as the other teams, the Asian squads are a feisty mix of youth and experience. With talented young players like 18 years old Mana Iwabuchi and Karina Maruyama besides older players like 32-year old Homare Sawa and 29 year old Kozue Ando, the heavily cheered Japanese team stand even odds for getting victory at the World Cup.
Please note that the third place playoff will between France and Sweden will take place on Saturday 16 July 2011 in Sinsheim.
July 15, 2011 by Richard · Comments Off
Game: USA vs Japan
Match Date/Time: Jul 17, 2011 2:45pm EST
Channels: ARD, British EuroSport 1, British Eurosport HD, CBC, cbcsports.ca, Eurosport France, FIFA.com, SBS One Australia, TLN
Competition: FIFA Women’s World Cup – Final
Live Online Streaming: Yes – Watch on Live Football Network