The Nadeshiko proved yet again to be a stumbling block for the US women’s team blanking them, 1-0.
Megumi Takase was able to get to Aya Miayama’s corner kick before a slow reacting US defense to head home the winner. They now play Germany in the Algarve Cup final. The US eight time winners of the Cup finished second in their group to Japan now contest Sweden in the 3rd place match. They had been riding a hot 11 match unbeaten streak (9-0-2) including 8 consecutive wins this year scoring a staggering 47 goals to 2 conceded record. Naturally they came into this match with a lot of self belief trying to erase memories of last year’s World Cup final.
The US women dominated possession like they did in the World Cup but failed to capitalize on their chances. Japan’s team relied on counterattacks and creative flair. Set pieces once again proved crucial like they did in the World Cup. Is it because the US women minimize the threat of the Japanese women because they lack size?