Women's World Cup: United States to play Japan in final

The United States celebrate
The United States celebrate Abby Wambach's (second left) crucial strike

The United States will play Japan in the Fifa Women's World Cup final on Sunday 17 July.

USA scored twice in the last 11 minutes to overcome France 3-1 in the first semi-final.

The favourites, bidding for an unprecedented third World Cup title after their wins in 1991 and 1999, were pushed all the way by Les Bleus.

Japan beat Sweden 3-1 thanks to a double from Nahomi Kawasumi, including a spectacular 35-metre lob.

Josefine Oqvist gave Sweden the lead after pouncing on Sawa's poor back-pass before Kawasumi equalised nine minutes later.

Sawa added the second with a close-range header before Kawasumi completed the comeback with a brilliant lob.

Earlier in the day, Lauren Cheney tapped the US into a half-time lead, but Sonia Bompastor curled France deservedly level.

However, Abby Wambach's header and Alex Morgan's lob sealed the US victory.

France coach Bruno Bini, meanwhile, was left to lamented his side's missed chances, saying: "We had a lot of chances and played a very good game except the first 10 minutes.

"We were as good as we could have been. It was very physical and we stood up to this. But they have a lot of experience. They know how to play at this level and that told today. I thought we could get back to 2-2 but at 3-1 it's over."

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