CALIFORNIA (BP) -- The exciting and competitive Women’s World Cup ended with penalty kicks. The Americans and Japanese ended this great game in a 2-2 deadlock. The Eagles could not defeat the Ladies of the Rising Sun. It was a tough defensive struggle.
Each team tried to control the pitch (field) with ball control, each team protected their net.
The Americans played right into the hands of the Japanese in the 2 and overtime periods. The Japanese are known for their box defense that shield the wings from scoring and the Americans fell into the trap.
The Japanese Futbol team came back twice to tie the Championship game with speed and tactics. The Americans had their chances in the first half but did not cash in. Forward Alex Morgan scored the first goal and it seem like they were going to control this match right from the opening bell, using their size and strength to defeat the smaller Japanese.
The team from the Rising Sun would not break, would not bend. The Japanese were playing for higher stakes, like a broken country, they were playing for millions of broken hearts; they were playing to uplift a nation. Motivation can be an equalizer in sports.
Midfielder Aya Miyama tied the score at one. Then the American scoring star Forward Abby Wamback scored in the 2 half with a header right down the middle of the net from a corner kick to take the lead at 2-1.
This goal seemed to be the end of the dream for the Japanese it was Wamback’s 4 goal in 4 games. However, fate would continue to be kind to the women in blue. The star for the Japanese, midfielder Homare Sawa scores again as the Captain led her team to the first Asian team victory in the World Cup Finals.
The Japanese head coach must have known something because before the shootout his face seemed relaxed and happy encouraging his team to play well. Unlike the American coach who looked tight and worried. The coach’s feelings must have transferred to their teams.
The play of the match was the save in penalty kick time by the Japanese goalie Ayumi Kaihori, with her back foot high in the air, kicking the ball away from the net.
The Women’s World Cup is just another example of the influx of the power of Asian sports influencing the world. The Americans once again would show their ugly side with Goalie Hope Solo.
As stoppage time winded down she would crash into a Japanese forward and stay down until the trainers could attend to her. This is a tactic often used to rest players from an offensive
The bad karma for Solo came full circle because she was the one complaining at the last World Cup games being pulled from the championship game against Brazil for Briana Scurry, Soul Sister goalie. Scurry did not play well that game and Solo let the world know it.
Remember soccer is a team sport and the head coach has a right to put in who he/she feels could help the TEAM. Hope Solo did not think so. Ms. Solo offered her public opinions, and concerns, thus alienating her teammates and coach. Hope Solo has not grasped the concept that there is no “I” in team.
Well this year was her time to shine and the sun shined brightly until the Championship round. The clouds returned to the skies in the penalty kick round. The Americans lost in a shootout 3-1.
The next Women’s World Cup Games Ms. Solo will be 36 years old the same age as Briana Colette Scurry four years ago. She better hope (pun intended) that another young American Goalies will not pull the same childish stunt Solo pulled.
The new Ms. America, the new Barbie, just might need an attitude adjustment before the Americans win in 2015. If Ms. Solo were of darker hue i.e. Black, Asian, or Latina she would have been run off the field by the mighty mouse a.k.a. ESPN and the other media sports reporters.
They would be calling her the female Terrell Owens, or the Female Chad Ochocinco Johnson. Some would be calling her the soccer ego queen, the daughter of Satan, but “I digress”, as my friend Cowboy Reggie states many times.
Which leads to the next point this American team did not represent the diverse population of the United States with only one minority player forward Amy Rodriguez, who is of Latin or Spanish decent.
Maybe in 2015 the United States Women’s Soccer team will look like the American population. Lastly the Black Athlete Sports Network salutes the players of the Japanese Women World Champion Soccer team for a job well done,
This team uplifted the hearts and souls of a broken nation.
As for the United States it’s a team still in progress.
Gary Norris Gray is a writer for Gibbs Magazine and author of "The Gray Line". He can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.