Hope So Low
Now on to berating the USA Women’s National Team. You choked. End of story.
You blew it. You had chance after chance after chance to score throughout the game and failed 9 times out of ten. The goals you did score were fantastically done, but you could have easily scored 4 or 5 times.
And when it mattered most, your defense crumbled. Japan played passively the entire game, as if hoping to keep the game scoreless and send it to PKs. Once you scored, Japan simply flipped a switch, turned up the offensive pressure, and sloppy defense lead to an easy goal.
Then with just minutes to play before the title was yours, you failed to mark up on a corner and they tied it again. The defense looked scared, they had poor clearances, and they nearly tripped over each other trying to defend.
And the penalty kicks were pathetic. One flew hopelessly over the frame (like many of our chances on offense throughout the game) and the others were kicked low to the ground where the keeper stopped them. She’s a short keeper, you gotta get more air under those shots.
You outplayed Japan for 95% of the game, you deserved to win. Japan merely stormed the net when the time was up and they had nothing to lose, and both times the defense failed and the lead was lost. They were not the better team, but they were the smarter one.
You choked. You lost that game.