FanDuel - WFBC

July 17, 2011

Japan Wins World Cup Over U.S.: After going ahead 2-1 in extra time, the United States gave up a tying goal to Japan in the waning minutes and lost the World Cup 3-1 on penalty kicks. Alex Morgan and Abby Wambach scored the goals for the U.S., but the Americans couldn't hold off Japan from two comeback goals scored by Aya Miyama and Homare Sawa.

posted by rcade to soccer at 01:57 PM - 37 comments

Lauren Cheney is starting at forward for Amy Rodriguez. Good call.

posted by rcade at 02:08 PM on July 17

I get nervous when I hear all the talk among the talking heads about how heavily favored the US is. I regard Japan more substantially than that. They have discipline and their team fitness may be the equal of the US. I wonder if their keeper can keep up her level of play.

posted by beaverboard at 02:39 PM on July 17

Should be 1-0 by now. The U.S. is getting huge opportunities.

posted by rcade at 03:08 PM on July 17

Why do the posts hate America?

posted by jmd82 at 03:51 PM on July 17

What's the possession at this point? Feels like Japan never has the ball.

posted by rcade at 04:17 PM on July 17

The USA defense has been shockingly disorganized when pressured.

posted by rumple at 05:09 PM on July 17

Tough way to go out for the USA. That was a pretty ugly round of PKs there. Congratulations to Japan though, you don't get there and win by coincidence.

posted by feloniousmonk at 05:23 PM on July 17

Wonder if that left ankle bothered Hope Solo on those penalty kicks

posted by NerfballPro at 05:27 PM on July 17

Ugh. Hate to see the U.S. lose like that. Japan's re-enactment of our Brazil comeback was pretty impressive.

posted by rcade at 05:28 PM on July 17

Really? You hate to see the US lose to a an underdog team from a country that has nothing but it's ass kicked by tsunamis and earthquakes for the past six months in an epic contest that was one of the most thrilling sporting events of recent memory?

I'd take that. And I like seeing celebration in Japan. I think they certainly deserve it.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:57 PM on July 17

apoch and I were all alone in #sportsfilter, but we enjoyed the match.

posted by scully at 05:57 PM on July 17

Weedy: Yes. I hate to see the U.S. lose a World Cup with 10 and 3 minutes left to victory, respectively, when they shot penalty kicks so horrendously. The sentimental reasons to enjoy Japan's victory are completely lost on me. This is the World Cup. I wanted the U.S. to add to the hardship of their people.

posted by rcade at 06:13 PM on July 17

I felt the same way watching this game as I felt watching the Vikings-Saints NFC Championship game 18 months ago. (As a Vikings fan.) It seems like no matter what happens, fate seems destined to side with the team representing an area trying to rebound from a massive tragedy (Japan with the tsunami and earthquakes, New Orleans with Katrina), and there's nothing you can do about it. A "Team Of Destiny" won't be denied. I think it needs to be added to Bill Simmons' "Levels Of Losing" list.

As an American, while I wish our team had won, I'm happy we didn't lose to a country that hates us. Good for Japan.

posted by TheQatarian at 06:16 PM on July 17

That's too bad rcade. I feel like you missed an epic game, then. It was a tough loss, but how could you feel too bad?

The sentimental reasons to enjoy Japan's victory were lost on you? As in, you can't imagine why anyone would feel good about Japan winning? Geez, man. It's not all about you losing. It's about Japan winning... After being dominated... Yeah, it's tough. I think in retrospect you might feel a bit better.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:40 PM on July 17

One equaliser came from the panic around the goal that rumple talked about; that the Japanese persisted in trying shots from outside the penalty box was perplexing. The other came from a fantastically-worked set piece that came straight from the training ground: if you don't think you can beat the US in the air at corners, and you're not getting anything from short corners, then make the angled run towards the front post and see if you can get something from the flick-on.

Wonder if that left ankle bothered Hope Solo on those penalty kicks

She wasn't the one taking them. Standard rule for a shootout is that the onus falls on your takers to score, and anything your keeper gives you is a bonus.

I was watching with a crowd, and there was pretty solid consensus that the red card at the end of extra time was one of those professional fouls where you have to admire the professionalism. Don't give up a goal or a penalty, sacrifice yourself for the team.

posted by etagloh at 06:40 PM on July 17

The sentimental reasons to enjoy Japan's victory were lost on you?

Sentiment is for meaningless sporting events like the Super Bowl or the Olympic hockey gold medal game. This is the World Cup.

posted by rcade at 06:43 PM on July 17

Zing!

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:58 PM on July 17

I wasn't disappointed that Japan won. In fact, I was pretty happy. Maybe it has something to do with being in the I 'watch soccer once every 4 years' crowd.

Can anyone that follows closer than I explain why Alex Morgan isn't a starter? She was involved in both U.S. goals and seemed like a threat when she was playing.

apoch and I were all alone in #sportsfilter, but we enjoyed the match.

I would have joined. Didn't know you guys were there.

posted by justgary at 08:15 PM on July 17

Japan are deserving victors. And I also concur that it is a country I don't feel badly losing to at the moment.

But I feel horribly about what was squandered: the great game the US played in general at a better technical level with periods of superb domination, the terrific pressure on the ball when Japan was in possession, the improved possession and team ball control, and the fabulous ball from Morgan to Wambach. And Rampone's all around brilliance at age 36.

Ordinarily, I will continue to watch a sports broadcast even if the outcome of the game is disheartening to me. But I had to turn this one off. I kept thinking about everything they had put into the campaign and all they had been through and I felt the pain would be more than I wanted to watch.

The US still does not compete like an international team. There's good and bad to this. I don't know how many established national teams would have had the will and ambition to attack a superior Brazil side shorthanded and equalize as the US did.

On the other hand, most other elite international teams would not have allowed two equalizers, the second with just minutes to go. Especially after retaking the lead in electrifying fashion. In a championship match. The game would have been properly closed out.

Up to today, Sundhage had made good moves, but I question her sending in Heath for Rapinoe (unless Rapinoe had an injury or issue I'm not aware of). With the game Rapinoe had, and the intangibles she provides, replacing her was not prudent. The selection of penalty takers was also shaky. Lloyd had been over the bar all day with opportunities from the field, and if there was ever a player who looked like she didn't want any part of being in a shootout, it was Heath.

There was so much gritty magic with this group. Hard to believe it all came undone as quickly and shockingly as it did. US WNT now has a bitterly urgent goal to strive for going forward and a newly minted centerpiece of the future in Morgan. I admired this whole squad dearly and wish the program great success from here onward.

BUT -- I am REALLY done hearing about the 1999 team. Enough - no more burdening the next WNT with any more of the nostalgic overload that this fabulous team had to endure.

posted by beaverboard at 08:54 PM on July 17

Really? You hate to see the US lose to a an underdog team from a country that has nothing but it's ass kicked by tsunamis and earthquakes for the past six months in an epic contest that was one of the most thrilling sporting events of recent memory?

Sorry. I am still salty about Pearl Habor. Call me a douch, But i have no sympathy for Japan. Screw the Axis Powers.

posted by Debo270 at 09:03 PM on July 17

Sorry. I am still salty about Pearl Habor. Call me a douch, But i have no sympathy for Japan. Screw the Axis Powers.

That's cool. I was cheering for Japan because I'm still ticked off by the War of 1812. ;)

posted by grum@work at 12:10 AM on July 18

Sorry. I am still salty about Pearl Habor. Call me a douch, But i have no sympathy for Japan. Screw the Axis Powers.

Yeah, fuck Yanks. Genocide in the Philipines, genocide of the First Nations, mass murder in Cambodia and Vietnam.

See how moronic you sound?

posted by rodgerd at 01:58 AM on July 18

U.S.A. played a dominating match except for the fact they didn't put the ball in the net enough, didn't convert on many great chances, gave up a couple of poor goals, and, with the exception of Wambach, looked foolish on their penalty kicks.

Regardless of tsunamis, Pearl Harbor, bombs, etc. Japan was a deserving victor because U.S.A. choked when they should have produced.

posted by dyams at 06:39 AM on July 18

The second Japan goal wasn't a giveaway. Sawa made a great shot.

posted by rcade at 07:45 AM on July 18

See how moronic you sound?

Not as bad as someone who misses sarcasm/ jesting. It was a heck of a game and I thought Megan Rapinoe deserved better given how well she played, but in general, the US should have put away some chances. And their defense got strangely narrow when Japan came calling.

posted by yerfatma at 09:31 AM on July 18

I had to pull for Japan since that American backpacker knocked over my pint in the Punch and Judy in 2007, so I was glad to see the outcome favour the Japanese. That and it's always nice to see a new name on the big pot.

And England beat them, so technically we're the best side in the world. /English tabloids.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:36 AM on July 18

Screw the World Cup, I wanna see Punch and Judy!

posted by Folkways at 11:19 AM on July 18

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:17 PM on July 18

Rapinoe played okay, but she tried dribbling through 2 or 3 defenders too many times when an open teammate would've been a much better choice.

Can anyone that follows closer than I explain why Alex Morgan isn't a starter?

She lacks some experience and consistency yet. She will probably be a fantastic player in the future. She maybe could've come on earlier for Heather O'Reilly who never looked threatening hen she touched the ball.

The injury to Golden Ball candidate Lauren Cheney probably hurt us more than anything else.

posted by Ricardo at 01:18 PM on July 18

Sorry. I am still salty about Pearl Habor. Call me a douch, But i have no sympathy for Japan. Screw the Axis Powers.

Yeah, I too hope for a natural disaster to kill all the Italians.

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:00 PM on July 18

We should start a club.

posted by yerfatma at 07:57 PM on July 18

Briana Scurry would have made those penalty saves.

posted by owlhouse at 04:55 AM on July 19

Nice.

posted by yerfatma at 07:52 AM on July 19

A Star-Telegram blogger made the same argument and was heartened by the fact he could make sports fans so angry about a women's event.

posted by rcade at 11:20 AM on July 19

But I'm not clear: does he actually believe that?

posted by yerfatma at 12:03 PM on July 19

Gotta be tongue-in-cheek, given the Han Solo reference.

posted by rcade at 12:23 PM on July 19

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