Joyous fans Japanese fans found something to celebrate after months of tragedy caused by a killer earthquake and tsunami as their underdog team claimed the Women's World Cup.

Fans decked out in Japan's dark blue uniforms chanted and sang in downtown Tokyo early Monday morning after their team beat the United States in a penalty shootout to become the first Asian side to take the title.

Sports bars and restaurants were packed with enthusiastic fans despite the early kickoff - 3:45 a.m. local time.

The dramatic victory was a welcome break from a long stretch of bad news dating back to March 11 when twin disasters devastated a large swathe of the country's northeast coast and triggered an ongoing crisis at a nuclear power plant.