As the USA and Japan get ready to battle it out in the FIFA Women’s World Cup final, Mumbai gals talk favourites, fire and thoughts random on football fandom
What Mumbai says…
Niyati Bharucha, Maharashtra State football player
“I have a new job that involves a lot of travel, but I have made time to follow the game. The FIFA app, has been a big blessing to help me get daily updates. My favourite team Spain is out. But I feel USA will win. I am rooting for Japan to give the match a fight and make it interesting.”
LET’S LIFT: USA midfielder Tobin Heath (l) and goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris (r) celebrate winning their semi-final win against Germany. PICS/AFP
Shruti Narkar, Kenkre Football Club (FC) player
“I called my cable operator over the last month trying to get the channel which is airing the matches. Sadly, I had to settle for online streaming of matches. I hope the finals are shown. I have been supporting USA through the tournament and am hoping they lift the Cup for a record time again. Their playmaking and team spirit is great and that will help them win.”
FIST UP: Japanese fans cheer their team in the Women’s Football World Cup
Sanaya Anklesaria, Former Maharashtra captain and city football coach
“I have been watching the highlights through the tournament. I was supporting Germany, Japan and USA in the tournament. I am happy with the teams in the final.”
THAT ERROR: England’s Toni Duggan lies on the ground after the final whistle blows in their 2-1 loss to Japan in their FIFA Women’s World Cup semi-final as a late own-goal by defender Laura Bassett put defending champions Japan into the final
Karen Pais, IC United player
“I want Japan to win the final as they have an awesome game. Also, it is great to have an Asian country achieving these heights in football. My favourite player is Aya Miyama and I am looking forward to seeing her play some great football in the final.”
CHEER ON: US fans cheer on the team as they make the women’s football final. PIC/AP/PTI
Danica Rosario, IC United player
“USA will surely win. Carli Lloyd will score at least two more goals and win the Golden Ball. The team has been on top of their game through the tournament and I am confident that they will keep that up in the final on Sunday as well.”
TEAM SPIRIT: Working together is the name of the game for these girls
Ark D’silva, Mary Immaculate Girl’s High School’s under-16 player
“I was rooting for England but they lost in a heart breaking match against Japan. I am hoping they win the third place. For the final my bet is on Japan. Go Asia.”
GET SET: German coach Silvia Neid looks on as her players warm up during a training session at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, as Germany meets England tonight in the bronze medal match
Mili Doshi, Under-16 player from Mary Immaculate Girl’s High School
“Rumi Utsugi and the Japanese team have been clinical in their display of touch football. I think Japan will be able to pull off a title defense with ease.”
HERE WE GO: Japanese players acknowledge the crowd following their entry in the women’s football World Cup final where they will face USA
WARM UP: The under-16 team of Mary Immaculate Girl’s High School, Borivali (W) at early morning practice yesterday. Pics/Nimesh Dave
As told to Maleeva Rebello and Sundari Iyer
Timing of the final
Monday, July 6: At 4:30 am IST Japan vs USA at Vancouver, Canada
1. The Women’s Football World Cup started in 1991, 61 years after the men’s tournament.
2. In the inaugural final, the United States beat Norway 2-1 to become winners of the first ever FIFA Women’s World Cup or Women’s World Championship.
3. The current format of the tournament involves 24 teams competing for the title at venues within the host nation or nations over a period of about three weeks. This phase is often called the World Cup Finals.
4. The United States and Germany have won the championship twice, and Norway and Japan once each, with Germany being the only team to successfully defend their title in 2007.
5. The 1999 final in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California had an attendance of 90,185, a world record for a women’s sporting event.
6. Formiga of Brazil and Homare Sawa of Japan, made a record of appearing in six World Cups during the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup, a feat that has never been achieved before by either any female or male player.
7. The United States women’s national football team is often referred to as USWNT, and represents the United States of America in international competitions.
8. The US team has been one of the most successful in international women’s football, winning two Women’s World Cup titles (including the first ever Women’s World Cup in 1991), four Olympic women’s gold medals, and 10 Algarve Cups.
9. The Japan women’s national football team is called Nadeshiko Japan by fans.
10. Japan defeated the United States in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in a penalty shootout. They thus claimed their first FIFA Women’s World Cup title, becoming the first Asian team to do so.