Women's World Cup Finale A 'Beautiful' Game For Berlin Soccer Fans

Japan and US teams stand for the singing of the national anthems prior to the final match at last night's Women's Soccer World Cup. Japan beat the US in a final penalty shootout round. i i

Japan and US teams stand for the singing of the national anthems prior to the final match at last night's Women's Soccer World Cup. Japan beat the US in a final penalty shootout round. Michael Sohn/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Sohn/AP
Japan and US teams stand for the singing of the national anthems prior to the final match at last night's Women's Soccer World Cup. Japan beat the US in a final penalty shootout round.

Japan and US teams stand for the singing of the national anthems prior to the final match at last night's Women's Soccer World Cup. Japan beat the US in a final penalty shootout round.

Michael Sohn/AP

The Women's World Cup final turned out to be a thriller. It had all the ingredients of a highly entertaining match.

The U.S. team lead twice- a late goal by Japan in extra time to tie up the game, and, in the end, Japan won 3-1 on penalty kicks.

Axe Lister was among the mostly female crowd watching the women's final at the Mariannen Bar in Kreuzberg.

"I've never seen such an exciting game, such a game packed with drama. The women's game was always considered to be inferior game. You know, men could really play the most exciting football, but now women are playing beautiful," Lister says.

Another man in the bar, Michael Kinne, turned up to see his favorite players. Kinne says he especially likes Abby Wambach and Hope Solo.

But all his faith didn't help. The small soccer nation Japan beat the U.S team for the first time ever. This was their 26th game against one another, which happened to be the 2011 World Cup final.

Soccer fans from all over the world crammed into the small bar, including fans like Gill from Israel, who was impressed with the fast game.

"Because it didn't get that budget so far, lots of women who actually play in the best teams, it's not their profession. They have an extra profession, so of course they don't have the opportunities to practice to get as good as they can."

But on Sunday night, no one at the Mariannen Bar was doubting that women's football was any less entertaining than men's. Chris Minto from Australia felt a bit sorry for the Americans, who missed out on their third World Cup title.

"America came in hard and fast. And hit every part of the goal they possibly could, before the net. And then Japan slowly built up and then bang, came back. I thought the American team had more fitness, but in the end physical fitness isn't what wins the game," Minto says.

In the end, everybody felt happy for the Japanese triumph. Even the German team, which was kicked out by Japan in the quarter finals, was applauding in the stadium in Frankfurt. And the viewers at Mariannen Bar in Kreuzberg couldn't take their eyes off the celebrating women from Japan, including Chris Minot.

"In terms of supporting a country, it was very difficult, but I always wanted Japan to win because who would have thought Japan would win the women's soccer? Who would have thought even that women play soccer in Japan? Let's hope the world keeps their interest in women's sports because that has been lacking. Everyone likes the men. They are stronger and faster and stuff, but the women are far more interesting to me."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.