Thursday, August 9, 2012

Nadeshiko aim for gold in London

London 2012 Olympic Games Womens Football Final

Japan v USA 

7.45pm GMT Wembley Stadium, London

Japan can add the Olympic title to their World Cup crown at Wembley in London today to complete a historic double.

Assured of at least silver, Nadeshiko will pick up their first Olympic medals this afternoon in Wembley having lost their bronze-medal playoff to Germany in Beijing four years ago.

Nadeshiko.


In the way of Japanese gold this afternoon is the USA, eager to avenge their penalty shootout defeat in last year's World Cup Final in Frankfurt. The Americans also see the Olympics as 'their' tournament, having bagged three of the four titles since women's soccer started in the games in 1996.

Japan made heavy weather of their group stage with two 0-0 draws as well beating France 2-1 in their semi-final, surviving a number of scares as the French dominated the second half of the game. The World Cup holders will need all their reserves tonight to defeat an American team who will try to make their physical advantage trump the Japanese possession game.

If Nadeshiko win, they will become the first Asian nation to hold the Olympic title too.

Womens football has been a success at London 2012 in beating previous tournament attendance records and the smashing UK attendance record for the sport. Over 70,000 watched Great Britain defeat Brazil at Wembley and tonight's final should draw closer to 80,000. Brazil drew over 30,000 for its other two group games, but the US got only 11,000 for a group game in Glasgow and 10,000 for their quarter-final against New Zealand in Newcastle.

The host nation drew an average of 42,000 for its group games, while Japan's biggest crowd was 61,482 for its semi-final at Wembley.

Routes to the Final:

JAPAN Group Stage 
Japan 2-1 Canada
Japan 0-0 Sweden
Japan 0-0 South Africa
QF Japan 2-0 Brazil
SF Japan 2-1 France

USA Group Stage  
USA 4-2 France
USA 3-0 Colombia
USA 1-0 North Korea
QF USA 2-0 New Zealand
SF USA 4-3 Canada
Top Scorers: JAPAN - Yuki Ogimi 2, USA - Abby Wambach 5

OLYMPIC GAMES WOMENS FOOTBALL Previous Winners

Atlanta 1996 USA
Sydney 2000 Norway
Athens 2004 USA
Beijing 2008 USA


 

(c) Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

No comments: