The more thinks of this match the more admiration one has for the Nadeshiko. There are fewer bigger goals in history men or women than the one Homare Sawa pulled off in the 116th minute of extra time. The US did everything humanly possibly to win this match but for those who know better this can be such a cruel, cruel game. I have no other words other than the Japanese were guided by destiny. They never stopped coming back. These are highlights from match time and extra time.
Then came the penalty shoot out and it all fell apart for the USA. Ayumi Kaihori pulled of a monstrous save stopping Shannon Boxx. And Saki Kumagai finished off to give Japan a wondrous victory. I don’t think there was a soul left untouched by what transpired in that match.
Megan Rapinoe was the best player on display fully justifying Pia Sundhage’s faith in giving her the start. She was electric with her speed and crossing abilities and through her efforts the USA should have gone ahead with Lauren Cheney almost pulling off a version of her France goal.
It was Rapinoe finding Alex Morgan with her long distance connection and the Cal State striker blew past the Japanese defense a la Fernando Torres against Phillip Lahm in the 2008 Euro final. With the Japanese on the ropes it was left to a terrible mix up between Rachel Buehler and Ali Krieger that gifted the ball to Aya Miyama and she made no mistake. The USA again went ahead in extra time as Abby Wambach powered in her header from Morgan’s cross and it appeared the USA for all practical purposes would be celebrating their third World Cup title. Till Sawa’s historic goal.