FIFA.com looks back at an eventful month in the world of women's football. Grabbing the headlines were the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Japan and USA's win at the Olympic Football Tournament in London, while there was also plenty of action in the domestic leagues.
USA girls get revenge – and gold
With a 2-1 win over Japan in a remake of the Final of last year's FIFA Women's World Cup™, USA made it four Olympic gold medals. The three-time defending champions won the decider of London 2012 against the Japanese, with Carli Lloyd scoring both of the goals.
Canada were the surprise packages at the tournament. A year after crashing out in the first round of the FIFA Women's World Cup, John Herdman's charges defeated France in the bronze-medal match and can now look forward to hosting the FIFA Women's World Cup in 2015.
Germany to play the 2013 Algarve Cup
Next year's Algarve Cup will be held from 6-13 March, and fans will be able to enjoy some top-quality matches during the tournament. Holders Germany will be making the trip to Portugal, as well as Olympic gold medallists USA, world champions Japan, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, China PR and Iceland.
"We are delighted to have been invited once again to this high-class tournament," said Germany's team manager Doris Fitschen on the DFB website. "The Algarve Cup will be an excellent warm-up for the EURO 2013 in Sweden. We'll get to face some very good teams and no doubt gain some important insights as we continue to prepare for the European Championships."
U-20 teams battle it out for the ultimate prize
All eyes are currently on Japan as far as women's football is concerned, with the current FIFA Women's World Cup holders hosting the U-20 version of the tournament. Reigning U-20 champions Germany and Japan were joined by another 14 teams all looking to take home the silverware.
The hosts were very impressive in the opening round, topping their group and storming into the quarter-finals, where they then cruised past Korea Republic 3-1. In the semi-final on 4 September they will face Germany in a hotly-anticipated clash, after Maren Meinert's team also strolled through the group phase before dispatching Norway 4-0. The second semi-final will be between Nigeria and USA, with the final being played on 8 September in Tokyo.
Paris Saint-Germain sign German pair
When the new French Ligue 1 Féminine season gets underway in September, Paris-Saint Germain will be looking to break Olympique Lyonnais' stranglehold on the title after securing the services of two top German internationals. Linda Bresonik and Annike Krahn have moved to the French capital from FCR 2001 Duisburg, while Costa Rican Shirley Cruz has also signed for Paris from rivals Lyon.
Tough debut for Barcelona
In the UEFA Women’s Champions League, Barcelona (Spain) have been given a tough draw for their first-ever match in the competition, with the Spanish league winners being pitted against 2007 champions Arsenal LFC of England in the Round of 32. Defending champions Lyon, meanwhile, will be hoping to book their place in the last 16 with a win over Finnish team PK-35 Vantaa. Germany's two representatives, Turbine Potsdam and VfL Wolfsburg, will take on Standard Fémina de Liège (Belgium) and RTP Unia Raciborz (Poland) respectively.
The draw, which took place on 23 August in Nyon at the headquarters of UEFA, also set out the possible Round of 16 ties, with the winners of Potsdam versus Standard Femina de Liege facing Arsenal or Barcelona. The Round of 32 ties will be played on 31 October and 1 November, with the Round of 16 matches following a week later on 7/8 November.
Malmo and Mittag heading for glory
LdB FC Malmo are currently closing in on the Swedish Damallsvenskan title, thanks in no small part to Anja Mittag. The 27-year-old German international striker has bagged no fewer than 17 goals already this season. The former Turbine Potsdam star notched a hat-trick in the 5-3 win over Linkopings FC in her last outing, keeping Malmo two points clear of Tyreso FF, who have Brazilian legend Marta in their ranks.
On 13 August, FIFA and the Japanese Football Association (JFA) opened the third of what is 20 scheduled "Live Your Goals" festivals. These are part of the FIFA "Live Your Goals" campaign, which aims to promote women's football and increase the number of players in Japan. The campaign is an important element of the sustainability programme in Japan, which was launched in April and implemented by the JFA, with the help of FIFA, as part of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup Japan 2012. "Live Your Goals" has also been launched in Azerbaijan and Costa Rica.
FIFA also conducted an intensive ten-day workshop for Asian women’s coaches in Tokyo to coincide with the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. The FIFA initiated workshop, which also featured invitees from New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, aimed to enhance the impact of the competition beyond the tournament and contribute to coach education within the region. Participants enjoyed both classroom and on-field activities, with a session conducted by Japan’s FIFA Women’s World Cup-winning coach, Norio Sasaki, amongst the highlights.
71 – The total number of goals scored at the Women's Olympic Football Tournament at London 2012, an average of 2.73 goals per game. Canada's Christine Sinclair finished as the competition's top scorer with six goals.
What they said
"Japan won the FIFA Women's World Cup and silver at the Olympics, but the country's footballing development still has room for improvement. The European teams have a physical advantage over us, which means that we constantly have to work on our technical skills to compensate. Japan need to bring on players who can create space and who know how to use it as well, even when space is at a premium. This is an incredibly important factor for both the youth and senior women's international teams," Japan coach Norio Sasaki, speaking in an exclusive interview with FIFA.com, on the country's next generation of women's players.