Abby Wambach did it again. But her inability to do it again, again cost the Americans their first World Cup since 1999.
What looked like a sure thing - twice - proved to be otherwise, as Japan fought off deficits in the second half and in extra time, each time rallying to tie the game and get back in it, before winning 3-1 in Penalty Kicks.
Shannon Boxx, Carli Lloyd and Tobin Heath each missed penalties, bringing to a fitting end a game in which the Americans squandered countless chances around the Japanese net.
It could easily have been 3- or 4-0 in the first half, but instead the teams went into the break tied. America came out stronger in the second half, with Alex Morgan entering the game for Lauren Cheney and almost converting once before finishing a beautiful goal that put the Americans ahead, but a short time later a defensive lapse in Hope Solo's box allowed Japan to even things up and get right back into it.