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Women's World Cup 2011

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This coming Sunday, the final match of the 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup will take place in Frankfurt, Germany, as teams from Japan and the United States vie for the championship. Sixteen teams from around the world initially qualified for the tournament, and began playing the first round of matches in nine different arenas across Germany. This year will mark Japan's debut in the final, as the U.S. team, led by Hope Solo and Abby Wambach, tries to become the first national squad to win three Women's World Cup titles. Collected here are some images from this year's championship, from June 26 through July 17. [47 photos]

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Hope Solo of USA controls the ball during the Women's World Cup 2011 Group C match between USA and Colombia at Rhein-Neckar-Arena, on July 2, 2011 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
Hope Solo of USA controls the ball during the Women's World Cup 2011 Group C match between USA and Colombia at Rhein-Neckar-Arena, on July 2, 2011 in Sinsheim, Germany. (Joern Pollex/Getty Images)
The Olympic stadium, before the opening ceremony of the Women's World Cup in Berlin, on June 26, 2011. (Reuters/Thomas Peter) #
Balloons colored like footballs are released as part of the opening ceremony prior to the opening match of the Women's World Cup, Germany vs. Canada (Group A) at Berlin's Olympic Stadium on June 26, 2011. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images) #
North Korea players warm up during a training session ahead of the Women's Soccer World Cup in Dresden, Germany, on June 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez) #
United States' Carli Lloyd, left, and North Korea's Kim Su Gyong challenge during the group C match between the United States and North Korea in Dresden, Germany, on June 28, 2011. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #
Players of Brazil stand together before the penalty shoot-out during the quarter-final match of the Women's World Cup, Brazil vs USA, on July 10, 2011, in Dresden, eastern Germany. The USA won the match after a penalty shoot-out. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
Germany's Saskia Bartusiak, right, heads the ball from Japan's Karina Maruyama during extra time of the quarter-final match between Germany and Japan at the Women's World Cup in Wolfsburg, Germany, on July 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Michael Probst) #
Fans of Japan pose during the Women's World Cup semi-final match between Japan and Sweden in Frankfurt, on July 13, 2011. (Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images) #
Japan's midfielder Mizuho Sakaguchi controls the ball during the quarter-final match of the Women's World Cup, Germany vs. Japan, on July 9, 2011, in Wolfsburg, northern Germany. Japan won 1-0. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images) #
Team New Zealand celebrates, performing the Haka, after the Women's World Cup Group B match between New Zealand and Mexico at Rhein-Neckar Arena, on July 5, 2011, in Sinsheim, Germany. (Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images) #
Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. balances a ball on her head during a practice session for the upcoming final of the women's soccer World Cup in Frankfurt, on July 15, 2011. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
Captain Homare Sawa of Japan lays dejected on the pitch during the Women's World Cup Group B match between England and Japan, on July 5, 2011, in Augsburg, Germany. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) #
Norway's Elise Thorsnes scores her side's first goal during the group D match between Australia and Norway at the Women's World Cup in Leverkusen, Germany, Wednesday, July 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer) #
Spectators wave German flags after the group A match between Germany and Canada at the Women's World Cup in Berlin, Germany, on June 26, 2011. Germany defeated Canada 2-1. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber) #
Canada's striker Christine Sinclair, who wears a mask to protect her broken nose, shouts during the Canada vs. Nigeria Group A match of the Women's World Cup on July 5, 2011, in Dresden, Germany. (Robert Michael/AFP/Getty Images) #
Japan's goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori, during the quarter-final match of the Women's World Cup, Germany vs. Japan, on July 9, 2011, in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images) #
France's Sonia Bompastor heads the ball during the Women's World Cup semi-final match, France vs USA, in Moenchengladbach, Germany, on July 13, 2011. USA defeated France 3-1. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images) #
United States goalkeeper Hope Solo is given a yellow card by referee Jacqui Melksham of Australia for moving too early on a penalty shot during the quarter-final match between Brazil and the United States at the Women's World Cup in Dresden, Germany, on July 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #
France players celebrate after their team won in penalty shots the quarter-final match between England and France at the Women's World Cup in Leverkusen, Germany, on July 9, 2011. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) #
Norway's Ingrid Hjelmseth fails to save a shot by Australia's Kyah Simon, center, during the group D match between Australia and Norway at the Women's World Cup in Leverkusen, Germany, on July 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) #
Alex Scott of England in action during the Women's World Cup group B match between England and Japan, on July 5, 2011, in Augsburg, Germany. (Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) #
Sonia Bompastor (right) of France reacts next to referee Jenny Palmqvist (center) of Sweden and Karen Carney of England during their Women's World Cup quarter-final soccer match in Leverkusen, on July 9, 2011. (Reuters/Alex Domanski) #
An unidentified US player jumps over France's goalkeeper Berangere Sapowicz during the Women's World Cup semi-final match, France vs. USA, in Moenchengladbach, Germany, on July 13, 2011. (Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images) #
USA's midfielder Megan Rapinoe is lifted up to relatives after their victory after the Women's World Cup semi-final match over France, in Moenchengladbach, Germany, on July 13, 2011. (Patrik Stollarz/AFP/Getty Images) #
Japan's Homare Sawa listens to her nation's national anthem prior to the group B match between Japan and Mexico at the Women's World Cup in Leverkusen, Germany, on July 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) #
Brazil's Marta (2nd from left) dances with teammates as she celebrates scoring her side's third goal during the group D match between Brazil and Norway at the Women's World Cup in Wolfsburg, Germany, on July 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #
Stephany Mayor (right) of Mexico is struck by Mizuho Sakaguchi of Japan during the Women's World Cup Group B match between Japan and Mexico, on July 1, 2011, in Leverkusen, Germany. (Alex Grimm/Getty Images) #
Sweden's defender Sara Thunebro reacts after the Women's World Cup semi-final match, Japan vs Sweden. in Frankfurt, Germany, on July 13, 2011. (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images) #
Laetitia Chapeh Yimga, Dorine Nina Chuigoue and Diala Blessing of Equatorial Guinea line up for a wall during the Women's World Cup Group D match between Equatorial Guinea and Brazil on July 6, 2011, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images) #
USA's striker Abby Wambach (center) vies for the ball with players of Brazil and the US during the quarter-final match of the Women's World Cup, Brazil vs USA, on July 10, 2011, in Dresden, Germany. Brazil drew 2-2 with the USA but lost 5-3 on penalties. (Robert Michael/AFP/Getty Images) #
Hope Solo, goalkeeper of USA, during the Women's World Cup Group C match between Sweden and USA at Wolfsburg Arena on July 6, 2011, in Wolfsburg, Germany. (Martin Rose/Getty Images) #
USA supporters cheer prior to the Women's World Cup semi-final match, France vs USA, in Moenchengladbach, Germany, on July 12, 2011. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images) #
Josefine Oqvist of Sweden (not pictured) scores the first goal against Ayumi Kaihori of Japan (left) during the Women's World Cup semi-final match between Japan and Sweden on July 13, 2011, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Christof Koepsel/Getty Images) #
United States' Abby Wambach (left) celebrates after scoring during the semi-final match between France and the United States at the Women's World Cup in Moenchengladbach, Germany,on July 13, 2011. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner) #
Brazil's striker Marta, during the quarter-final match of the Women's World Cup, Brazil vs USA, on July 10, 2011, in Dresden, Germany. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images) #
England's defender Faye White (left) and France's midfielder Louisa Necib vie for the ball during the quarter-final match of the Women's World Cup, England vs. France, on July 9, 2011, in Leverkusen, Germany. (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images) #
Brazil's striker Marta celebrates after scoring the 2-1 during the quarter-final match of the Women's World Cup, Brazil vs. USA, on July 10, 2011, in Dresden, Germany. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images) #
New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon deflects a ball as she is challenged by England's Alex Scott, front, during the group B match between New Zealand and England at the Women's World Cup in Dresden, Germany, on July 1, 2011. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek) #
Japan's midfielder Homare Sawa (center) celebrates scoring the 2-1 goal with her teammates during the Women's World Cup semi-final match, Japan vs. Sweden, in Frankfurt, Germany, on July 13, 2011. (Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images) #
Soccer fans watch a live telecast of the U.S. women's soccer World Cup semi-final game against France on July 13, 2011, in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) #
United States' Abby Wambach (left) and Hope Solo during the quarter-final match between Brazil and the United States at the Women's Soccer World Cup in Dresden, Germany, on July 10, 2011. (Thomas Lohnes/dapd) #
Japan's midfielder Homare Sawa (left) and USA's midfielder Carli Lloyd vie for the ball during the FIFA Women's Football World Cup final match Japan vs USA on July 17, 2011, in Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #
Homare Sawa (not pictured) of Japan scores her team's second goal during the FIFA Womens's World Cup Final between the United States of America and Japan on July 17, 2011, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Thorsten Wagner/Getty Images) #
USA's goalkeeper Hope Solo reacts during the FIFA Women's Football World Cup final match Japan vs USA on July 17, 2011, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Christof Stache/AFP/Getty Images) #
Homare Sawa of Japan celebrates scoring the second goal during the FIFA Women's World Cup Final match between Japan and USA on July 17, 2011, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Friedemann Vogel/Getty Images) #
Goalkeeper of the U.S. Hope Solo (right) cries after losing to Japan in a penalty shootout after their Women's World Cup final soccer match in Frankfurt, on July 17, 2011. (Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach) #
Japan wins the World Cup after a penalty shoot-out at the FIFA Women's World Cup Final match between Japan and USA, on July 17, 2011, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. (Christof Koepsel/Getty Images) #

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