Please excuse me while I start writing a masters thesis on today's FIFA Women's World Cup soccer game between the USA and Brazil. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, but I'm just so excited! If you don't want to read my review/commentary of the game, just stop reading now.
Let me begin by saying that I am speechless. Words cannot even begin to describe the varying emotions of this game. Rivalry. Nostalgia. Bitterness. Anger. Fear. Desperation. Perseverance. Anxiousness. More perseverance. And joy.
The U.S. went up 1-0 early on an own goal, but that was about the only luck they got during the whole game. In the second half, Buehler was given a red card on a questionable call in the box. Hope Solo was in goal defending the penalty kick and had a beautiful save, only for the referee to issue a re-kick, saying that Solo was off her line (which isn't true...watch the replay). And of course Marta converted her try at the penalty kick to even the score. It was a whole new game and the U.S. were playing a woman down. Next questionable call (or lack thereof): Marta's goal off a cross from Maurine who was clearly offside. The officials had lost the plot of the game in Dresden. When you walk off the pitch/field/court in whatever sport you're playing you want to feel like you won the game. Or you lost the game. Based on your own merits. And these officials inserted themselves into the game against the United States. But in the 122nd minute, the unexpected happened. Just when it looked like the USWNT would be making their earliest exit from the World Cup in history, Megan Rapinoe played a beautiful ball to Abby Wambach who scored on a header. The game was going into penalty kicks. Here, Hope Solo got the poetic justice she deserved (in more ways than one) as she had the most beautiful save. All in all, the women won 5-3 in penalties. And to make it even better -- 12 years ago today, Brandi Chastain hit that memorable PK of her own to give the UWNT their 2nd World Cup. Never before has a soccer game made me cry tears of joy...until today.