By Motin Yeung
The date is July 10th, 2011. USA takes on Brazil in the Women’s World Cup. USA again brought an unbelievable show to the world, took the match to a penalty shootout and beat Brazil 5-3 on penalty kicks. As USA Today describes the match, “Crafty and dazzling one moment, emotional and unpredictable the next”. It is truly an thrilling match that every soccer fan is looking for. The final goal scored in the match is the highlight of the highlight. It’s the most brilliant header I have seen. It is especially impressive under the intense circumstances. This goal kept USA in the match and gave them the opportunity to win.
The match began with a quick goal. USA “scored” after 1:16. Well more like Shannon Boxx passed the ball from the left side of the field to the middle and the Brazilian defender kicked the ball into their own goal. The second goal of the match is where all the drama started. USA player Buehler fouled Brazilian forward Marta inside the penalty box. The referee gave the red card to Buehler without any hesitation, and there it is, Brazil earned its penalty kick. Don’t forget. Hope Solo, goalie of the American team, is one of the best goalie out there. She took her stand in front of the goal and saved the penalty kick. As the American players are taking possession of the ball and celebrating of the save, the referee blew the whistle. At this moment, everyone is confused because through TV broadcasting, we can only see the referee giving a yellow card to Hope Solo, and nobody can figure out what she did wrong. So every American, I’d imagine, at that moment was furious about that referee call. Later, we learned the truth. During the penalty kick, one of the USA player went in the box too soon, so the referee let allowed Brazil to take it again. Hope Solo was mad about this and probably said something about it. The referee then gave her a yellow card for that. Marta stood behind the ball again for another penalty kick. Again, she kicked towards the bottom right corner with power. This time Hope Solo was not able to save it. Brazil scored! 90 minutes is up and the score is still 1-1. Some extra time is on the way.
Brazil scored the first goal during over time. After a few elegant passes between the Brazilian players on the left field, the ball was passed to Marta, whose on the left side of the goal. She kicked the ball with her left foot, lobbed it over the American defender and the goalie. The ball hit the right post softly and bounced in the net. Brazil leads 2-1.
As the time was running out, USA was still trailing behind Brazil with 1-2. The referee added 3 minutes to the end of the match. Keep in mind, one of their player got a red card earlier in the match, so they only have 10 players on the field. USA didn’t give up. On the 120th minute, USA defender took back possession and launched their last counter attack. The ball was passed to Rapinoe on the left midfield. She took a second to assess the situation on the field, seeking any opportunity out there. Finally, she saw Wambach in the box. Without hesitation, Rapinoe launched a beautiful long cross near the right post with her left foot. Wambach saw the pass coming, jumped high up in the air and headed the ball without flinching into the net. The cross was perfect and the header was precise. USA women’s soccer team showed us that anything is possible. If you don’t give up, miracles might happen.