The U.S. was unable to get any payback for their shootout loss to Japan in the 2011 World Cup Finals as the Japanese once again got the best of the United States. Substitute Megumi Takase headed in Aya Miyama's 84th minute corner kick for the only goal of the match to capture first place in Group B at the Algarve Cup. It marked the first time the Japanese had ever defeated the U.S. in regulation and means that there will be no three-peat for the United States. In fact, this will be the first Algarve Cup final since 2002 that won't feature the U.S. women as they'll instead head to the consolation game where they'll take on rival Sweden. While you'd hope the U.S. could take out some frustration and salvage at least a third place finish, it won't be a cake walk by any means. The Swedes went unbeaten in three matches against the United States last year including wins at the Four Nations Cup and in group play at the World Cup.
CONCACAF WOMEN'S CHAMPIONSHIPS - USA U-20s 6 PANAMA 0
On a brighter note, the U-20s cruised to their third consecutive 6-0 victory clinching first place in Group B at the CONCACAF U-20 Women's Championship. Micaela Capelle opened the scoring with her first goal of the tournament, and second half substitute Maya Hayes added two more goals to lead the way for the United States. Vanessa DiBernardo, Julie Johnston and Samantha Mewis also scored goals for the U.S. The U-20s will now advance to the semifinals of the tournament where they'll face Mexico who finished second in Group A. Only the top 3 teams advance to the 2012 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup so the U.S. must win one of their next two matches to move on. Panama, despite the loss, also advances to take on Canada in the other semifinal.