U.S. Women's World Cup Victory Defines Tenacity
Yet in the end, team work and the U.S. women's team's never-say-never attitude prevailed over the team with a star player.
[Black Star News Editorial]
Don't look up a dictionary if you want the true definition of "tenacity." Watch the replay of the U.S. vs. Brazil game in the Women's World Cup soccer quarter-final game in Germany on Sunday.
Brazil, leading 2-1, following a spectacular goal befitting Pele or Maradona, by star player Marta, thought the game was over. The 90 minutes of regulation play elapsed as did 30 minutes of overtime; the U.S. played much of the game one player down when a defender was shown the red card and ejected for bringing down Marta inside the penalty area. Then, into the second minute of added time after the overtime --sometimes referred to as "injury time" to make up for when the game is halted to attend to players during regulation-- the Americans struck.
Amy Wambach got a magnificent cross from Megan Rapinoe that curled away from the Brazilian keeper, who mis-timed it, and a defender. Wambach's thunderous header sent the ball crashing into the back of the net. Now it was suddenly tied 2 - 2 and there was no stopping the Americans, who had regained the psychological momentum.
In the best-of-five penalty kicks phase, Hope Solo made the difference, saving a shot from the same Brazilian player, Daiane, who earlier had the misfortune of scoring an own-goal in regulation to five the U.S. a 1-0 lead, while trying to clear a cross.
Then it was all over for Brazil. The team with the world's best female soccer player, Marta, were heading home while the U.S. advancing. Marta's second goal in regulation was a work of genius. She kick-curled the ball with her left foot with a deftness and delicacy that it landed it like a tennis drop-ball, without hurting the ground.
Yet in the end, team work and the U.S. women's team's never-say-never attitude prevailed over the team with a star player. Watching the Americans harass the Brazilian defense, again and again, even when the team's fate seemed sealed, who could doubt that anything could happen?
The U.S. now meets France Wednesday for the right to play in the World Cup final.
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