WWC: USA v Japan preview

Date published: Saturday 4th July 2015 1:45

The match – which kicks off at midnight UK time on Sunday night/Monday morning – is a repeat of the final from four years ago, when Japan took victory on penalties as the sides couldn’t be separated in a 2-2 draw after extra time.

The Americans gained revenge 12 months later at the London 2012 Olympics, winning 2-1 to take the gold medal at Wembley.

Japan reached Sunday’s showpiece in the most dramatic fashion, as Laura Bassett’s freak own goal gave them a last-minute 2-1 win early on Thursday morning.

Aya Miyama had put them in front from the spot, before Fara Williams also scored a penalty to level things, but Bassett’s own goal in the 93rd minute sealed the result for the reigning champions.

The USA, meanwhile, saw off Germany 2-0 in Edmonton and go into the game full of confidence having conceded just one goal in the whole tournament.

Carli Lloyd scored a penalty against Germany after Celia Sasic had fired wide from the spot, and Kelley O’Hara netted late on to book their place in the final.

Jill Ellis’ side are bidding for a third World Cup win and their first since 1999, while Japan are hoping to defend their title to join the USA and Germany on two.

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