Congratulations and thanks for the great matches dear Japanese Women’s Football Team at the FIFA World Cup Germany 2011!
But, let us start also here at the beginning.
We have to admit it, the desire to watch this finals game was a bit on the shaky side. For one it was almost obvious that the very physical tall athletic US women would just run over these tiny Japanese girls. The other thing was the really nice Sunday weather outside.
But, we cranked our plasma big screen tv on and started at least to check things out – just to realize that it was exactly as we thought it would be, the US girls applying all their physical advantage and making the Japanese girls look like helpless little buggers and that it was just a matter of time when the US would score their first goal.
But, they did not manage to make hay during that phase, and, slowly but ever so gently the Japanese girls begun to control the game with their incredible ball passing around game.
We just recently saw a movie called “The new Karate kid” or so, in which a senior Japanese fellow tried to teach a somewhat clumsy US girl how to be alert.
Somehow some of this passing the ball around amongst the Japanese girls reminded us of this mental mind set, a couple of Japanese players seemed to know where their fellow players are at any moment, they would have probably passed the ball accurately to each other even if they where blind folded. Forward, backward, sideways, it did not matter.
Halftime and no goals yet. Second half, and finally it happened as we knew it would, one powerful straight forward attack by the US girls and the Japanese girls where outrun.
After the 1:0 for the US we knew it all, that was the end of this championship, we anyway never had the “mini”-girls from Japan preset as winners of this game.
We made it a bit more comfortable for ourselves on the sofa’s, in fact some of us seemed to fall into a mild state of slumber, we basically just stayed on to make sure we hear the final whistle blow.
Yet, one insecure mistake by the US defense and the Japanese girls had an equalizer – which was good enough to wake up the last one of us again, we again had a game at hand!
Extra time, extra time! We had no doubt, the powerful US girls would hit another goal in extra time and that would be it – and sure enough, so it went, power and height advantage equals one more goal. Tthat was that, some of us started to get busy with something else, they where convinced there was no way this oddly slow and mild looking team from Asia would pull another one over the furies from the badly governed land out West.
Penalty shooting now, we had absolutely no doubt, these big girls from USA would slam the ball into the net past the poor little goal keeper girl from Japan – but, the first try already proved us wrong, that little “imp” jumped like a gimp! (yes indeed, no other words could describe that safe better). To our complete surprise also the next US penalty shooter hit the ball over the top bar, the situation was all of a sudden totally unexpected, Japanese girls 2 goals up on the US, and that mean’t they had 2 chances to score another one and they would be the Women’s World Cup winners from Asia for the very first historical time.
Another “little imp” was about to kick her penalty, and you would have thought her nerves would be flapping in the wind like a sail, but the coolest girl of them all just kicked it in the top corner of the goal as if she was on a bit of training before breakfast, perfect shot to where no goal keeper can grab it!
We’d like to sum it up this way; the US girls where talking about playing with heart, but on this day the Japanese girls played with the bigger hearts, true lion hearts, and, they kept their composure to an extend you would nover expect from any woman, outstanding, wonderful!