Japan vs Sweden in the World Cup Semi Final Image Courtesy of Denver Post
Soccer News: JAPAN vs SWEDEN
ORIGINAL USA vs FRANCE LIVE LIVE UPDATES from SoccerNation at O'Brien's in San Diego
Last Match NEWS: USA vs BRAZIL Victory
NOW U.S. Women's National Team Advances to Final of 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and will take on the Victor of Sweden vs Japan
Now as the Women's World Cup 2011 Semifinals Sweden Vs. Japan ends, Japan wins 3-1 and will meet the USA in the FINAL.
"Japan has never beaten the United States," said San Diego SeaLions General Manager Amie Becker. "That said, this Japanese side is not the same as the one the U.S. has seen recently, and they should not be taken lightly. Japan has united in the face of tragedy and they are playing for their country. On the flip side, Japan has a major size disadvantage, and it will be very difficult for them to defend Wambach in the air. If the United States can control the midfield, send balls up the flanks and find Wambach, Japan is done. My prediction is team USA will win the FIFA Women's World Cup on Sunday."
Join Amie Becker, Coach Lalor-Nielsen, and the San Diego SeaLions at O'Brien's Pub in Kearny Mesa on Sunday morning to watch the match. The Pre-game show begins at 11 a.m. and the action kicks off at 11:30 a.m.
USA won the semifinal against France 3-1 everyone turns their eyes to the next match; Japan vs Sweden. Now the 'other' semifinal between Sweden and Japan suddenly gets just as much attention.
USA RECAP: For the second-straight game Abby Wambach scored a clutch header for the U.S., this time netting a 79th-minute goal that earned the U.S. Women’s National Team its third appearance in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Final.
Watch the final live on ESPN at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday as the U.S. faces either Sweden or Japan.
Here is an update from Jen Lalor-Nielsen on team USA's future rival for the championship:
"The semifinal between Sweden and Japan is definitely a slower-paced game then the U.S. game against France. In general, there are not many dynamic players on the field for either team. The United States has more special attacking players on the team that can really make the difference in the game.
The Japanese are more creative on the ball than Sweden. They use the whole team rather then focusing on one playmaker. They get numbers around the ball, create passing angles and look to build the play. The midfielders and forwards really look to combine and play with each other. Because of their size disadvantage they will need to dominate possession in order to win.
Sweden has a very special player in Josefine Oqvist. She scored the game-winning goal in the 2003 Women’s World Cup semifinal against Canada that put them through to the finals. Today she was able to pick Homare Sawa’s pocket and score the first goal on a counter attack.
Offensively the way the Swedes are playing now is a little too predictable, but they have been smart defensively trying, to put numbers around the ball to prevent Japan from connecting passes. The way they are going to score would be to strip Japan of the ball as Oqvist did and create a counter attack."
Jen Lalor-Nielsen played for the U.S. Women’s National team in the 1995 Women’s World Cup. She has played professionally in Japan, Denmark and Sweden. Now Lalor-Nielsen is the Head Coach for the San Diego SeaLions and Director of Coaching for Girls at the San Diego Football Academy (SDFA).
FIFA VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS OF EVERY MATCH If you missed the action, take a look at what is online at FIFA.
The NEW Women's Soccer editorial section is sponsored by the San Diego SeaLions.
We deeply appreciate the SeaLions helping to offset the costs associated with this editorial coverage and want to acknowledge their tremendous support of women's soccer.
SeaLions one of the oldest female soccer clubs in the USA. The WPSL is a sixty-plus team national women's soccer league with five conferences and is considered one of the top women's soccer leagues in the world. For more information, please email Amie Becker