AP - 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.
The Japanese denied the U.S. team the chance to become the first nation to lift the cup three times.
The Americans missed their first three penalties and Japan went on to win the shootout 3-1 when Saki Kumagai slotted the final shot high past goalkeeper Hope Solo.
In a thrilling final, 32-year-old Japan captain Homare Sawa flicked a corner through a jumble of players and past Solo with three minutes of extra time left to level the score at 2-2 and set up the penalty shootout.
Japan had already scored late in regulation to force extra time.