When the United States played Japan yesterday, two nations watched and prayed for victory as both teams fought valiantly for the right to take home the title. I've never seen the U.S. Women's team play so well. At least, not since 1999, which was the last time we took home the World Cup Title. They did everything right the entire game. They dominated, they passed well, they kept their heads and they had more shots on goal, but just couldn't put it away.
Does anybody out there believe in fate? I'm not taking anything away from the Japanese, because they certainly deserved to win. First they won their place in the final. And then they beat us, fair and square! They're an awesome team. But I had the distinct feeling, especially toward the end of the game, that Fate was intervening.
Just pretend for a minute that we are dealing with the Gods. When they're sitting around the table debating about who should win, from their POV, the United States certainly did not need the win as badly as Japan did. So Fate intervened - just a little - to give the tsunami-ravaged country a much needed morale boost. Again, I'm not taking anything away from Japan. They've just proven they're the best in the world. Just sayin'...
The United States lost the 2011 Women’s World Cup title to Japan, first-time winners, after 90 minutes of regular play, 30 minutes of overtime, and then finally the penalty kick phase.
United States took the lead when Alex Morgan scored during regular play, with Japan’s Aya Miyama scoring near the 80th minute, tying the score at 1-1. Two fifteen minute overtime halves followed, in which the United States took the lead again when the formidable Abby Wambach headed-in the second U.S. goal during the first half overtime.
But the Japanese women’s team couldn’t be held down and Japan scored their second goal during the second half of overtime, when Homare Sawa got around a confused defense, tying the game 2-2.
During the penalty shoot-out, the United States missed their first three chances and Japan out-shot the United States, 3-1.
It was a fierce battle between the two teams but fate was with the Japanese women’s team, earning Japan a much needed morale-booster for the tsunami-stricken country.