When defender Saki Kumagai made the 11th minute decision and completed Japan’s incredible retrograde against the American team in the 2011 World Cup final, she not only wrote a new chapter for Japanese football but also gave world women’s football.
With that victory, Japan became the first country that surpassed all Germany, Norway or the United States to win a grand prize since these events took place in 1991.
Speaking of women’s football, the world may only notice Germany, the United States, Norway and Brazil, the teams that won 23 of the 27 first, second and third places at the Olympic and World Cup for women football from 1991 to 2008. Comparatively, in the recent 6 World Cups of men’s football, 10 different teams have been in the Top 3.
However, in the 2011 World Cup, the rest of the world seems to have caught up with the top teams. To see more clearly, in the 2011 World Cup, the average difference in matches is only 1.5 goals, the lowest in the World Cup history until the 2015 World Cup. When the women football’s World Cup expanded to 16 teams in 1999, the average goal difference was reduced sharply and the number of unexpected results increased.
This change certainly has a significant contribution from Japan and other Asian teams. This is a little doubt because for a long time, Asia is still considered a low-lying area on the world’s women football ma. Remember in the 2014 World Cup, 4 teams of Iran, Japan, South Korea and Australia did not win a match and were at the bottom of the group stage. A year later at the Women’s World Cup, all five teams had at least one win, in which Thailand was the only team that did not qualify for the knockout round.