Japan will battle the United States for the Women's World Cup trophy today, Sunday July 17th, from Commerzbank-Arena, Frankfurt, Germany. Japan has never defeated the United States in 25 international matches between the two sides. Oddsmakers have USA as -120 moneyline favorites to beat Japan (+280) with the over/under listed at 2.5 goals. Be sure to get your Japan vs USA predictions in early.
The Americans are the No. 1 ranked team in the world, and with two World Cup titles to their credit, the Americans have to be considered the heavy favourite for today's showdown. The U.S. enters the match riding a wave of momentum after registering an amazing come-from-behind victory against Brazil in the quarter-finals, and then pegging back the challenge of a plucky French side in the semifinals. The Americans have demonstrated a tremendous will to win, a never say die attitude, an unflappable belief in themselves, and an uncanny ability to overcome adversity on the field. After a slow start to the tournament, the veteran forward Abby Wambach has come alive the past three games, including scoring the equalizing goal in extra time and again in the penalty shootout against Brazil in the quarter-finals, and the winner against France in the semifinals.
Japan has shown great character at this tournament, too. The Japanese have carried themselves with great dignity and class every step of the way, playing for the folks back home who are still dealing with aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that devastated the country in March. Although Japan was one of the top seeds going into this tournament, many questioned their credentials, and didn't believe they were as good as their ranking suggested. Japan, though, has proved everybody wrong, combining superb technical ability, fantastic organizational skills and a fearless attitude to overcome Germany and Sweden, two traditional powers of the women's game. Unheralded midfielder Nahomi Kawasumi was limited to two appearances as a substitute (totalling 29 minutes) in the tournament before she scored a pair of goals (including the winner) in Japan's 3-1 victory over Sweden in the semifinals.
The United States and Japan have met 25 times at senior level in international play, with the Americans winning 22 matches and drawing three times. The U.S. has outscored Japan 70-10 in those matches. The Americans have defeated Japan twice at the World Cup: 3-0 in the group stage of the 1991 tournament, and 4-0 in the quarter-finals in 1995.
Japan vs USA
When: Sunday July 17th@2:30 PM ET
Pick: USA -120
The Bottom Line: the Americans are taller and a lot faster. Be sure to get your Japan vs USA predictions in early.