Germany 0-1 Japan AET
There will be an inquest at the German Federation. Germany were the two-time defending champs, the favorites to win it all on home soil, and yet they looked listless and lacking for any way to penetrate an incredible defensive effort from the Blue Samurai. It seemed a classic overlook game, and went to extra time, where captain Homare Sawa fed Karina Maruyama, who shot at an incredibly acute angle past German keeper Nadine Angerer for the one and only goal of the match.
It is the first time Japan’s beaten a European time in the Women’s World Cup, and the women earned the effort on the back of a stout defensive effort.
Meanwhile, German coach Silvia Neid will face questioning about everything, including deployment of substitutes. It’s funny how Birgit Prinz was tailor-made to make an impact in a match like that one, yet she has fallen so far so quickly that she wasn’t even a consideration — ESPN’s Ian Darke and Julie Foudy talking about how she had admitted she wasn’t mentally prepared for the tournament, and saying Neid shouldn’t play her.
The early thought is that the winner of tomorrow’s Brazil-USA semi should have an inside track to the championship with Germany out, but Japan’s upset should serve as a warning shot not to overlook any opponent.
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