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The Importance of the 2011 Women's Fifa World Cup

Updated on July 24, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Reason #1 for the Importance of the 2011 FIFA World Cup: Japan as a Country Had Suffered Greatly That Year

Although I am not a big fan of soccer or futbol as they call it in the Spanish speaking part of the world, there is one major tournament that stands out to me as being so memorable that it is worth writing about. That tournament is the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. When I had first written about this tournament in 2016, I was also discussing the career of now former soccer player Karina Maruyama but now this article will just be about the importance of the World Cup in 2011. It was important because Japan won the tournament after being so badly devastated by a major earthquake that year.

A view of Toyota Stadium in Nagoya, Japan.
A view of Toyota Stadium in Nagoya, Japan. | Source

The 2011 FIFA World Cup Began in a Solid Way for Japan

In the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Japan would beat New Zealand 2-1. However, they would lose to England 2-0. This loss would leave Japan unfazed as they would deliver a convincing 4-0 victory over Mexico. I remember this tournament very fondly as I was at home watching these games. Captain Homare Sawa scored a hat trick in that game.

Karina Maruyama's Goal Against Germany Was the Defining Moment for Japan at the Time

In the quarterfinals is where Japan would make a name for themselves in the history books of soccer. After battling host country Germany hard for 90 minutes, Karina Maruyama delivered the knockout blow, the only goal of the game as Japan won 1-0 in the 108th minute. That sent shock waves not only throughout the stadium but I really think they shocked an entire country. The goal that Maruyama scored was so good, no human could have caught that ball!

Team Japan Would Win the World Cup After an Improbable Win Against the United States

Japan would beat Sweden 3-1 in the semifinals as Homare Sawa would score again in minute 60. This put Japan in the final against the tough and talented US team. After USA’s Alex Morgan scored in the 69th minute, I really thought that the match was going to be over. However, Japan’s toughness and determination ensued as Aya Miyama scored in the 81st minute to tie the game. But in the 104th minute, Abby Wambach scored to put the US ahead. That lead would not last long as Homare Sawa scored again in the 117th minute, thus keeping Japan’s hopes for a title alive. The match would head to penalty kicks where Saki Kumagai would net the winner and so Japan’s quest for a World Cup title was complete! It was only fitting for it to end this way. Japan as a nation had suffered so much because of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. They deserved to win the whole thing. Japan’s soccer team earned this one and congratulations to them. Maruyama did not play for the national team during the 2015 Women’s World Cup.

Most Important Moment for Team Japan During the 2011 FIFA World Cup

Which event was the most important moment for Team Japan during the 2011 FIFA World Cup?

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Saki Kumagai Scores the World Cup Winning Goal for the Japanese Women's Soccer Team

The Importance of Karina Maruyama to the 2011 World Cup is Another Reason

The importance of Karina Maruyama to this soccer team must be emphasized. If Roberto Baggio was important and critical to Team Italy’s success in the 1990’s, Karina Maruyama was just as important for Japan. If it was not for that goal, Japan may not have even made it to the semifinals that year, let alone win the entire tournament. Homare Sawa may be more famous and recognized for this Japanese team, but Karina Maruyama’s name will forever be associated with international soccer. We could call that goal against Germany the goal that made the Japanese women’s soccer team a team to be remembered forever. I am so happy that Japan won the tournament. Victories such as this are meant to be and Karina Maruyama is a player that will be remembered by soccer fans worldwide.

Final Thoughts About the Japanese Victory in the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup

For Team Japan, 2011 will always be the year that an entire group of skilled, athletic, and classy women came together as part of a team, put in the time, effort, and practice that was necessary to bring home one of the most important trophies in the history of sports which is a soccer world cup title.

© 2019 Ara Vahanian


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