Author Topic: From Fukushima to the World Cup Final  (Read 6162 times)

Offline Alan

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From Fukushima to the World Cup Final
« on: July 15, 2011, 09:09:12 AM »
Japan's football women are hoping that the team's sensational successes will help to raise their country after the year's disasters.  Aya Sameshima used to work at the nuclear power station that was wrecked on March 11.  "I will be playing for the people of Fukushima", she said.

There was a football earthquake last Saturday when the hot favourites and hosts, Germany, were beaten by Japan in the quarter finals.  Germany entered the World Cup having won it in 2003 and 2007.  In 2011 the run came to a stop against Japan, when in extra time Karima Maruyama put the ball in the net from a wide angle.

For right-back Sameshima it provides a new focus for the world's attention after the earthquake and tsunami.  She used to work as a secretary for Tepco at the Fukushima power plants.  She played for Tepco Mareeze, a club named after the power company, but was away when the catastrophe overtook her home town.  

Since the end of March 24-year-old Aya Sameshima has been a professional in the USA at Boston Breakers, a team that has collaborated with Tepco Mareeze.  On March 11 she was training with a club further south in Japan.  "We felt nothing of the earthquake.  Normally I worked at the power station.  Many of my friends and fans have died", she said.

Before the championship started she told ESPN that she would be playing at the World Cup with her heart in her old club, which was forced to leave the Japanese league after the destruction that followed the tsunami, which in places produced waves with a height of 38 metres (124 ft).  

Now Japan will be playing in the World Cup Final on Sunday after beating Sweden in the semis.  Homare Sawa (32), the captain, hopes that the the team's performance on the world's biggest stage can lift her country.  "In the national team we hope to show that the Japanese attitude is never to give up, and perhaps we can send the same message back to the people affected by the tsunami".  

Espen Solbakken http://www.vg.no/sport/fotball/artikkel.php?artid=10080465
Johannes Hägglund http://www.aftonbladet.se/sportbladet/fotboll/landslagsfotboll/damvm2011/article13302315.ab

Photo: Aya Sameshima (left), Homare Sawa (right).

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« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 07:16:12 PM by Alan »
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Offline Dr Gonzo

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Re: From Fukushima to the World Cup Final
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2011, 08:36:41 PM »
I hope they do well It's time someone new won it....


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Offline Alan

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Re: From Fukushima to the World Cup Final
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2011, 11:47:02 PM »
Japan-USA 1-1 after full time, a Japanese player sent off after 118 minutes, 2-2 after extra time, then Japan wins 3-1 on penalties - Japan the new world champions after a great match.  The four semifinal teams, France, Sweden, USA and Japan produced two outstanding matches to finish this World Cup.

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« Last Edit: July 17, 2011, 11:52:51 PM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Historic World Cup win to Japan
« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2011, 05:39:25 PM »
Japan won on penalties at the end of the World Cup Final last night.  The favourites, USA, did not survive the pressure of a highly dramatic match.

Japan's football women have been the sensation of this year's championship.  Now the Barcelona of women's football are world champions for the first time.  Japan beat Germany and Sweden on the way to the Final.  Many thought that they would fall to the USA at the end, but Japan never gave up and equalised twice in the 120 minutes of regulation time.  USA sensationally missed their first three penalties before Saki Kumagai sent Japan to the skies with the winning kick.

USA dominated all the first half and could have scored several goals, but there was no score after 45 minutes.  20 minutes from the end Alex Morgan broke the stalemate.  The 22-year-old was ruthless after the Americans had struggled against their hard-working opponents.  She took a good pass from Megan Rapinoe and placed the ball in at the far post behind Ayumin in the Japanese goal.  Morgan has not started any of the USA's matches in the tournament, but also scored in the semifinal against France.

The goal brought the Japanese forward on the pitch and they got their reward nine minutes from the end.  Aya Miyama kept their dream alive when she took advantage of a defensive error by Rachel Buehler.  It was a goal that took the game into extra time for the third time in finals.

Abby Wambach has been the USA's biggest star, with goals in all matches in the knockout stage of the championship.  In the first half of extra time she made full use of a cross from susbstitute Morgan and sent the Americans into the lead once again.  The goal made her the tournament's top scorer, level with Marta of Brazil and Japan's captain Homare Sawa.  But once again the Japanese struck back with a second equaliser by Sawa from a corner at the end of extra time.  Sawa was voted the tournament's best player, as well as taking the Fair-Play prize and top-scorer prize.

After that Japan had Azusa Iwashimizu sent off for tripping just outside the Japanese box, but they managed to hold out for penalties.  The USA won on penalties in 1999, but this time they failed to score from their first three spot-kicks.  It was left to Japan's Saki Kumagai to win the World Cup with her penalty kick.

Japan – USA 2-2, 3-1 on penalties.
Spectators: 48,817
Ref: Bibiana Steinhaus, Tyskland.
Gult kort: Aya Miyama, Japan.
Rødt kort: Azusa Iwashimizu (120), Japan.
Goals: 0-1 Alex Morgan (69), 1-1 Aya Miyama (81), 1-2 Abby Wambach (104), 2-2 Horomare Sawa (117).

Japan (4-4-2):
Ayumi Kaihori –
Yukari Kinga, Azusa Iwashimizu, Saki Kumagai, Aya Sameshima –
Shinobu Ohno (Karina Maruyama 66), Homare Sawa, Mizuho Sakaguchi, Aya Miyama (Mana Iwabuchi 119) –
Kozue Ando (Yuki Nagasato 66), Nahomi Kawasumi.

USA (4-4-1-1):
Hope Solo –
Alex Krieger, Rachel Buehler, Christine Rampone, Amy Le Peilbet –
Heather O'Reilly, Carli Lloyd, Shannon Boxx, Megan Rapione (Tobin Heath 114) –
Lauren Cheney (Alex Morgan 46) –
Abby Wambach.          

Lars Heltne NTB http://fotball.bt.no/kvlandslag/article205397.ece

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« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 09:25:26 AM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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Final set Twitter record
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2011, 09:44:29 AM »
There was enormous interest in Sunday's World Cup Final between USA and Japan on the social web site Twitter.  Just after Japan had won the dramatic match on penalties there were 7196 messages per second, a new record for Twitter.  

There was similar interest on Twitter as Brazil missed their first four penalties in the shooutout against Paraguay at Copa America.  That reached 7166 per second.  The previous record for messages was set in Japan at last New Year, where many users log in if anything interesting happens.  Twitter users are now sending over 200 million messages per month.

Hundreds of fans and photographers were there to meet the Japanese world champions when they landed back home on Tuesday morning.  "When we landed it started to sink in that we had won the World Cup", said Japan's captain and star, Homare Sawa.  "I never expected so many people.  It was fantastic".  The match was watched from the White House by President Obama and his family.

Sawa was the tournament's top scorer and the World Cup competition's best player.  There were around 300 journalists waiting to throw themselves on the new hero.  "I heard there would be a lot of people, but this is like when the men's team come home.  It's a new milestone for the team", said trainer Norio Sasaki.

Japan's win is the first for an Asian country.  The team shocked the USA in the Final and won on penalties in a dramatic match.  The title also gave a signal of hope after the catastrophe that overtook Japan only a few months ago.  "We hope we can lift everyone after the disaster.  But it doesn't stop here for us.  Now we must qualify for next year's Olympics", said Sasaki.

On their way to the trophy and gold medals Japan also shocked big footballing countries like Sweden and the hosts Japan.  The captain thought the defeat to England in the group was what propelled the team on their way.  "The loss to England was the turning point.  We were forced to think about what to put right so we could beat Germany", she said.  "We felt a tremendous support from all the Japanese people and wanted to give something back.  There is a fantastic spirit and solidarity in the team.  Now our next goal is the Olympics", said Homare Sawa.

ANB-NTB http://www.ba.no/sport/article5674773.ece
« Last Edit: July 20, 2011, 09:46:47 AM by Alan »
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Offline Alan

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World Cup in profit
« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2011, 07:23:44 PM »
The World Cup championship in Germany was not only a success with the public: it made a profit of £6½ million.  Altogether the organizers took receipts of £45 million.  Half of that came from the sale of 782,000 tickets.

The German FA says that the costs were less than had been budgeted, while ticket sales exceeded all expectations. 

Around 65 percent of the profits will be used in marketing women's football.

http://fotball.aftenposten.no/kvlandslag/article205687.ece



 
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