Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2015 Contents VANCOUVER---With the title match
looming, Abby Wambach isn t mincing
"All I care about is winning this World
Cup," she said.
The star US forward is playing in her
fourth Women s World Cup, and she
says it will be her last. A victory today
in the final against Japan would be the
perfect ending to her World Cup career.
It would also solidify a legacy.
Wambach, who has been on the national
team for 15 years, has scored 183 goals,
more than any other player, male or
female, in the world. Of those, 77 have
come on headers.
She was the 2012 Fifa Women s World
Player of the Year, the game s highest
honour. And she has two Olympic gold
What she doesn t have is a World
"For this being her last one, I will do
whatever it takes to get the job done,"
vowed midfielder Carli Lloyd, who leads
the Americans with three goals.
The 35-year-old Wambach has seen
her role change at this World Cup. She
isn t starting every match, at times com-
ing in off the bench. She has just one
goal so far in the month-long event, the
lone goal in a 1--0 victory over Nigeria
in the group stage.
The United States, ranked No 2 in the
world, finished atop its group in Canada
before victories over Colombia and China
set up a thrilling 2--0 semifinal victory
over top-ranked Germany on Tuesday
The final today against Japan at Van-
couver s BC Place is a rematch of the
2011 championship match in Germany,
when the United States fell on penalty
kicks after a 2--2 draw.
So far it s been an eventful tournament
for Wambach. She s started three match-
es and come off the bench for three.
She hadn t played as a substitute in a
World Cup match since her first tour-
nament appearance in 2003.
with Sweden during the group stage,
she gave the Americans one of their best
scoring chances, a header that goalkeeper
Hedvig Lindahl popped up and over the
Wambach later said if the tournament
hadn t been staged on artificial turf, she
would have scored there.
Wambach led the way last year when
a group of players filed a legal claim in
Canada saying that the artificial turf
amounted to gender discrimination
because the men s event would never
be staged on fake grass.
Fifa wouldn t bend on the issue. Cana-
da s bid in 2011, the only bid for this
year s event, stipulated the tournament
be played on an artificial surface. The
players who filed the claim eventually
dropped it so they could focus on prepa-
ration for the competition.
Wambach also caused a stir following
the US team s 2--0 victory over Colombia
to open the knockout stage.
During the match, US midfielders
Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday
were issued yellow cards. Because both
had yellows from previous matches at
the tournament, both had to sit out the
quarterfinal against China.
After the Colombia game, Wambach
was asked whether the yellow cards
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 5, 2015
EDMONTON---Fara Williams scored
on a penalty kick in the 108th minute,
helping England beat Germany 1--0
yesterday for third place in the
Women s World Cup.
It was England s first win in 21 meet-
ings against Germany, and secured the
team s best finish in its four World Cup
appearances. The victory over the top-
ranked Germans came after a gut-
wrenching 2--1 semifinal loss to Japan
that was decided on an own goal on
Williams goal was set up by a pass
into the penalty area intended for
Lianne Sanderson. As Sanderson turned
to go after the ball, she was pulled down
by Tabea Kemme.
On the penalty kick, Williams
punched the ball just inside the left
post, while goalkeeper Nadine Angerer
faded the other way.
England had previously never won
an elimination game, and finished this
tournament with a 4-1-1 record.
Germany had several opportunities
to tie the game in the final ten min-
Anja Mittag, off a free kick just out-
side the penalty area, found an opening
and got a shot off that was scooped
up by goalkeeper Karen Bardsley.
In the 116th minute, Bianca Schmidt
got behind England s defence and head-
ed a cross just wide of the right post.
The two-time champion Germans
were coming off a 2--0 loss to the Unit-
ed States on Tuesday. Their semifinal
loss turned when Celia Sasic missed a
penalty kick in the 59th minute, and
the Americans took the lead on a penal-
ty kick of their own ten minutes later.
Germany dropped to 18-1-2 against
England beats Germany 1--0
in extra time to finish third
"I don t know if they were yel-
lows," she said. "It seemed like she
(the referee) was purposefully giving
those yellows to maybe players that
she knew were sitting on yellows.
I don t know if that was just a psy-
chological thing, who knows?
Wambach apologised the next
day, calling it wrong to suggest what
the official was thinking. Fifa
responded by issuing a warning,
citing the organisation s disciplinary
code that concerns unsportsmanlike
During that same match against
Colombia, Wambach also missed
a penalty kick---which she inexpli-
cably took with her left foot. It was
just the second penalty kick, exclud-
ing shootouts, that the United States
had missed at a World Cup.
Now the only waves Wambach
wants to make are to the crowd at
BC Place today---from atop the
podium. Whether she starts or not
"As a competitor, and as some-
one who has an ego, of course I
want to start, of course I want to
help my team," she said. "I just
have this belief system, and I ve
talked about it my whole career,
that it takes a whole team. It s not
about one person. It will never be
about one person in a team sport."
Wambach just wants to win her last World Cup
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