Women’s Soccer World Cup Update: The Brave and the Bold Make the Final

The time has come. The Women’s Soccer World Cup concludes this Sunday, July 17th with a game between the United States and Japan. It’s your last chance to make as many dirty jokes about Abby Wambach and headers as possible. France and Sweden will face off July 16th in a match to determine third place.

After reaching the semi-finals for the first time, France dropped the match to the ever determined United States. In spite of an early goal from Lauren Cheney, it was clear Les Bleues were a force to be reckoned with. Sonia Bompastor’s equalizer sent U.S. fans into a panic as they feared more penalty kicks could be in the cards. France’s gutsy play had the U.S. on their toes until a Wambach goal off of a Cheney corner significantly swung the momentum in their favor. Assisted by super sub Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan’s goal three minutes later gave the game its final score of 3-1. Unfortunately, the decisive win doesn’t erase the poor midfield play and less than amazing play from Hope Solo. Coach Pia Sundhage will be faced with a tough decision — return to Rachel Buehler or stick with Becky Sauerbrunn?

Abby Wambach’s already legendary header from the Brazil match won the ESPY’s Best Play award. This came on the back of her tying Michelle Aker’s record of 12 U.S. World Cup goals.

Japan continued their impressive run by taking out Sweden 3-1. The absence of captain, Caroline Seger didn’t prevent the Scandinavians from drawing first blood with a goal from Josefine Oqvist. After powering down the field, she sent the ball over the keeper’s head for the first and only goal from the Swedes. After that, it was all Japan. Nahomi Kawasumi found the net twice and Homare Sawa, whose name I quite enjoy saying, headed one home for her fourth goal of the tournament.

If you caught  the pre-match festivities, banners, and languages I don’t understand, you know the semi-finals shared the spotlight with FIFA’s Anti-Discrimination Day. News of Maryam Majd’s status just happened to emerge that same day. Majd, an Iranian photojournalist that specializes in women’s sports, was arrested in Tehran before leaving to cover the World Cup. The women’s rights activist has been in solitary confinement for over 20 days.

Assuming you can’t make it to Iran to break Majd out of jail, who will you be cheering for in the final two games? Will the third place game match the excitement of the championship? Will the games help quell your tortured soul after the last Harry Potter movie?

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Brittani Nichols is a Los Angeles based comedy person. When she's not tweeting about white people or watching television, she's probably eating pizza. Actually, she's probably doing all three of those things concurrently and when she's not doing THAT, she's sleeping. Brittani also went to Yale and feels weird about mentioning it but wants you to know.

Brittani has written 328 articles for us.


  1. I’ll post more later maybe, but all I want to say is:
    -Yay, USA! Can’t wait for Sunday!
    -France had some adorable players and their uniforms are also super cute.
    -Our playing was a little sloppy at times and France seemed to have more ball possession and more shots on goal — they should couldn’t finish. They seemed to hold the ball too long when they should’ve gotten shots off. France was a good team, despite the final score.
    -I was hoping for a re-match against Sweden. Also, the Swedish team is very good-looking as well, I must say. All the men in the office predictably wanted to see a USA/Sweden final. I couldn’t really disagree as I followed their same logic (at least partially).
    -Can’t believe it’s over already Sunday! Must… find… Olympic… tickets. Guess I had to sign up last year if I wanted to get tickets to the Olympics. Grr.

  2. Rooting for Japan! They could really use a win after the devastation in March.

    • *TOTALLY* enamored with Japan’s playing. Love their style, their impressive teamwork and passing skills :)

      I’m rooting for them on Sunday too! I think they’re a match for the US. It’ll be a close game.

  3. I am so excited for this final! I have a soft spot in my heart for the Japanese team, but I can’t root against the Americans. Go USA! I think that the 3rd place game will be an exciting game to watch too, but I don’t know if I am going to have a chance to watch it on Saturday.

  4. I wanted it to be a USA-Sweden final, but I’m fine with USA-Japan. As long as USA wins, of course!

    I like both France and Sweden, so it’s hard to say who I want to take third. Sweden, I guess. I was rather disappointed by some of the rough playing from Les Bleues in the semifinal match.

  5. sweeeeeeeeeeedennnnnnnnnnnnnn so dissapoint. i hope they win 3rd though. but i also like france (a little less) so yeah.

    GO USA, they srsly deserve it. given i have rooted for every other team against the US (because i love surprise upsets), thats saying something.

  6. i still haven’t seen the sweden japan game so i just skipped through. omg the u.s.. ……..there is no way we won’t win.

    p.s. is anyone else falling for megan rapinoe? seems like i do more and more with each game

  7. Yeeeee USA! :D

    Also I am going to miss seeing pictures of sweaty women with alternative lifestyle haircuts hugging each other with their fantastic legs when this ends. :(

  8. I’m torn! Japan could really use a win after the Tsunami/Earthquake/Nuclear disaster.
    On the other hand a USA win will help the struggling WPS league and maybe more support will trickle down to other women’s sports as well.
    Tough choice.

  9. It seems like Japan is the team of alternative lifestyle haircuts, but the US has LePeilbet, Rapinoe, and Wambach. Either way, I’ll be happy with the outcome, and hoping for a Brandi Chastain round two.

  10. Man, Japan made the Swedes look like sluggish cumbersome giants. Buuut, some of those Japanese goals were a result of poor goal keeping. So maybe with Solo, it’ll be a little harder for them to score.

    I’m super pumped for Sunday!

  11. 1. This is my official request for a Women’s World Cup Final Live Blog and/or Open Thread for Sunday! [I’m so anxious/nervous/excited I think I’m going to pee my pants!] If nobody wants to do this, I volunteer myself!

    2. I hope FIFA speaks out for the Iranian missing photojournalist. International pressure is important especially in lieu of the fact that they didn’t let the team compete in the first place.

    3. Thank you for my Autostraddle shirt! :)

  12. It was a good game. Excitement wise… It couldn’t hold up to the Brazil match. Rapinoe is a game changer!!!! At first I was upset she hadn’t been starting but that girl makes things happen when she comes in second half. She sparks energy on the field and sets plays in motion. Can’t wait till Sunday!!!

  13. im surprized there was no mention of louisa necibe considering that she has been all over that ball in every game.
    both games are going to be great im just in shock because i wanted to see how f v s and j v u.s. would play out but i never thought it would happen…..damn i just wonder what the u.s. is going to do against japan….i donnevenknow but im gushing from exitement

    • My guess for what the US is going to do against Japan is send a lot of crosses into the box for Abby since she’s taller than pretty much the entire Japanese team.

      • yeah but they beat out the tallest team (germany) so it’s not a hight issue as much as a possession issue… i think that’s going to be the biggest challenge

        either they are going to have to play rapinoe and morgan from the beginning or……i don’t know….i don’t want to think about it too much because we still have 2 more days ahhhhh can’t i just fast forward!!!!!

        • I think they should play Rapinoe and Morgan from the beginning too, they need the creativity they bring and they can help with possession in the mid-field. I don’t think Germany took advantage of their height, but with Abby on fire just keep firing crosses over to her and let her work her magic.

          • i know, im worried that if they’re out so early it’s going to bring about tired legs and who’s going to sub for them then? I’m nervous to say the least. im a japnaophile too so i feel tugged between sides.

            it’s going to be tough both teams are playing with heart and i really see it as an unpredictable match.
            ahhh can’t wait!!!!


    I thought about going to a bar to watch the game and then I realized exactly zero of the friends I have in this new city give one shit about this. I could try to go with people who don’t care or be by myself, but I’d rather just watch alone at my apartment and really enjoy every play (and be free to run around and scream like a lunatic when we score). So, what I’m saying is, the internet is my only friend who cares about the women’s World Cup. Be there for me, internet.


    • I thought about going to a bar too, but I’m not sure if any of the bars will be showing or if other people actually care and will want to watch it too.

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