Japan fully deserved World Cup title

18 Jul

It was a heart-breaking loss for the United States.  They twice gave up late goals and then were completely devoid of confidence in the penalty shootout. There was a lot of talk about the U.S. being a team of destiny, particularly after the win over Brazil, but couldn’t Japan have gotten the exact same stories along the way?  The Japanese weren’t expected to make it to the final at all.  Many people, myself included, thought that Germany would pick them apart in the quarterfinals.

Japan, like the U.S., showed the importance of the ability to stay strong and never give up on the game.  You could tell when the game went to penalties that Japan had all the momentum in the world and the U.S. had none.  After bossing PKs against Brazil, the U.S. couldn’t repeat the feat in the final.  Shannon Boxx looked like she was going to cry and Carli Lloyd looked like she wanted to be anywhere but on the field.  They had no confidence and you could tell.

Even though the U.S. lost, the final was by far their best game of the tournament.  Their passing was sharp and they played possession soccer like the best of them.  The Yanks did not allow Japan to control the tempo.  And sometimes, even when you play your best game, it just isn’t enough as the game proved.

Props to Japan for providing the surprise of the tournament and a much-needed boost to their struggling nation.

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