In the build-up to Sunday evening’s FIFA Women's World Cup Germany 2011™ final between Japan and USA in Frankfurt, FIFA.com presents ten fascinating facts relating to the match. Read on and enjoy!
- Japan have scored 10 goals in their five matches at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2011 to date, an impressive feat when you consider that the Nadeshiko have only managed 13 goals in 16 matches at previous tournaments.
* -* Defender Christie Rampone is the only player involved in Sunday’s final who already boasts a FIFA Women's World Cup winner's medal. Back in 1999, she made a 17-minute appearance for eventual winners USA in a group meeting with Korea DPR, and was an unused substitute for the final itself.
* -* Taking all the players from Asia who have ever appeared at the FIFA Women's World Cup finals, Japan midfield maestro Homare Sawa ranks second with 17 appearances in total. She is beaten only by former China PR striker Sun Wen, who played 20 times at the tournament.
* -* USA are set to contest the final for the third time, after winning both their previous appearances in 1991 and 1999. The Stars and Stripes are also the only nation to reach the semi-finals at every FIFA Women's World Cup to date.
* -* Sunday's game will be a Japan national team’s fourth appearance in the final of an official FIFA tournament. The Japanese lost on penalties to Korea Republic in the final of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup last year. In the men’s game, the Japanese also lost the finals of the FIFA U-20 World Cup 1999 and the FIFA Confederations Cup 2001, to Spain and France respectively.
* - *Thanks to her powerful headed goal in the semi-final victory over France, striker Abby Wambach is now level with Michelle Akers as USA's leading scorer at the FIFA Women's World Cup. The tournament’s joint all-time top scorers are Germany's Birgit Prinz and Marta of Brazil on 14 goals apiece.
* - *The Japan and USA women's national teams have met on 25 previous occasions, with the North Americans comfortably dominating the fixture in the past. The USA have yet to lose to the Nadeshiko, winning 22 of the encounters with three draws.
* - *All five previous winners of the FIFA Women's World Cup were undefeated at the finals en route to lifting the trophy, but that can no longer happen at the 2011 edition. Both Japan and USA lost one of their group matches, 2-0 to England and 2-1 to Sweden respectively.
* -* USA have scored 11 goals at the tournament to date and Japan ten. Only one finalist has ever scored fewer goals: Sweden mustered just nine goals on their way to the 2003 final.
* -* Of the five previous FIFA Women's World Cup-winning coaches, three were men (Anson Dorrance in 1991, Even Pellerud in 1995 and Tony Di Cicco in 1999) and two were women (Tina Theune in 2003 and Silvia Neid in 2007). It is male versus female again on Sunday, with Japan coach Norio Sasaki facing USA supremo Pia Sundhage.