Japan wins first World Cup
The first World Cup of American Football was held from June 24 through July 4, 1999 in Palermo (Italy). Japan and Mexico, the two countries with the longest football tradition outside of North America, emerged as the strongest teams. Following convincing victories in group play the two teams met in the championship game. In front of 10.794 fans Japan won the game in overtime 6-0. TE Nachi Abe, who played professional football in spring with the Scottish Claymores of the NFL Europe, scored the only touchdown with a 5-yard catch at the end of Japan's first possession in overtime.
Mexico constantly hurt itself with four turnovers in regulation (two fumbles, two interceptions). The team from Central America was also stopped on downs twice during regulation. In overtime Mexico got the ball first and had the first opportunity to score but that opportunity was destroyed by an interception by FS Toshinobu Ichikawa.
(Text: Dieter Hoch)
|July 4, 1999, Paolo Borsellino Velodrome, Palermo (Italy)|
|6-0||Abe||5 yard pass from Sunaga|
(Source: X League)