Monday, July 18, 2011

Congratulations to the Japanese Women's Football Team


The sad thing about the World Cup, like the Olympics, is that it's so complete. So final. So far above and beyond any other tournament or level of competition in that sport.

Of course that's the beautiful thing about the World Cup, too.

It's just tough to think that players like Christie Rampone and Abby Wambach probably won't get another chance to hoist the trophy. It must be hard to get so close, and then have it slip through your fingers.

I thought the match started well. I applaud coach Sundhage's decision to bench Amy Rodriguez, and to start Megan Rapinoe, and it was clear, or at least it seemed to be clear, in the first half, that Japan was outmatched. We out-possessed them, we spread the field, and managed what seemed like endless opportunities. Yet we couldn't finish.

I could analyze the entire game for you, and talk about what I think went wrong, but I won't. Instead I would just like to offer a huge congratulations to the Japanese side. They played a dedicated and determined match, and the Japanese keeper, Ayumi Kaihori, should be especially proud for standing up in the face of adversity, and stopping those penalty shots.

Congratulations, Japan, now I have to go cry in the corner, and start looking forward to the Olympics.

26 comments:

Matthew MacNish said...

NOTE: I won't be reading many blogs today. We're leaving town on Sunday, and I've got to get as much revision done as possible before then.

Also: probably everyone I know has now seen Harry Potter. Not me. Not yet.

Laura Pauling said...

It's always sad for the women who might not get another chance but to make it that far is incredible.

And I haven't seen HP yet either!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Have fun on your trip. We saw HP yesterday. It was awesome.

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

I must say, that Japanese team has surprised me throughout the tournament.

Shain Brown said...

It is sad, but we are still be proud of them. Good luck on getting that work done.

Me either. Don't shoot but I am not much of a fan. I enjoyed the first book, but the movies not so much. I'll attempt another shot at HP one day.

mooderino said...

Quite a dramatic match. Can you imagine the pressure on those penalty takers?

mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino

Old Kitty said...

It seemed like it was a good game! Unfortunately it was shown when I was at work yesterday so I missed it but caught the highlights and read the reports!!! Yay to both women's teams!!!! Brilliant!! Oh but penalty shoot-outs are equally heartbreaking and pure ecstasy. I really really can't bear to watch penalty shoot-outs!!! LOL! Take care x

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I watched the game. Tough our girls lost, but Japan needed that boost.

Cold As Heaven said...

I watched last part of the final, the extras and the penalties. To me it seamed like the American team was mentally unprepared for the penalty shoot-out, and hadn't really considered this possibility in their preparation for the final.

Some years ago we had a player in our (men's) national team who was a master of the stressful penalty situation. Once, on a penalty, he took the ball from a nervous team mate, and said: "It's better that I score than that you miss" ... and he scored >:)

Cold As Heaven

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I haven't seen HP either. And I know how it feels when you're going out of town but you want to finish your revisions first. Happy revising, Matt!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Really proud of the US team as a chick living in France- even if they didn't win- they played a great game!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

There, there. No worries, there's always next time. Now i'm off to yokohamamama's blog to congratulate her

Becky Mahoney said...

I have no complaints whatsoever about the game. The USA played wonderfully! Also, I work at a Japanese company, and my coworkers are SO happy - that's always nice to see.

Michael G-G said...

I think this is great for Japan, after such a horrendous year for them.

It is also eye-opening for me. I lived in Japan 25 years ago and I can't remember any Japanese women playing soccer. (Volleyball was the main sport for female jocks). So to have come this far is astonishing.

Congrats too to the U.S. for making the final.

Matt, make sure you see HO on your vacation. It's a fitting ending to the movie series. (Yes, I cried.)

Hart Johnson said...

I agree that it's sad for the American women for whom this was probably last chance, but I think Japan needed this win more than we did right now, so I echo the congratulations!

Clarissa Draper said...

Yay, Japan! Did you see the Mexican goal by Gomez in the youth league against Germany?

Ishta Mercurio said...

I haven't seen HP yet, either. My kids aren't old enough to go, and it wouldn't be fair to my husband for me t go without him, and finding a babysitter in the summer when everyone is on vacation is impossible. Also, I haven't finished reading the series yet. *hides in shame*

Japan needed a win like this. Congratulations to them.

Sarah Pearson said...

After reading a few posts about the USA/Brazil match, I followed USA's progress with interest. I was surprised at how disappointed I was that they didn't win :(

ali said...

Aw. Here's some tissue .....

Bethany Elizabeth said...

Yeah, it was hard to see the US lose like that after such a promising start, but the Japanese team had so much courage behind them as well, how can I resent them victory? Everyone played so well!

Michael Offutt said...

Have fun on your trip out of town.

Kristi Helvig said...

It was an amazing game, and though I was disappointed, I can't say I was surprised at the outcome--because my 7-yo called every single game correctly and told me Japan would win it all.

Have a great vacation. :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I think it was the last couple minutes that did them in.

Arlee Bird said...

Always hate to see USA lose, but Japan can use something good after what they've dealt with this year.


Lee
Tossing It Out

Donna Hole said...

Good luck on the trip :)

.........dhole

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I went to a football game in the UK, and it was wild. hardly any scoring, and yet the fans were so enthusiastic and mean to opposing teams. Wow.

I'm sorry your team lost. :( <>