Most. Epic. Game. Ever.
I honestly don’t even know where to start.
This quote from Grant Wahl pretty much describes my relationship with the U.S. Women’s National team: “The U.S. women’s soccer team has a way of doing this to you: Making you think it’s over, that there’s no way these women could possibly find a way to rescue victory from defeat.”
The First Half
The first half of the first half was dominated by the U.S. and then it really started to get chaotic in a way. Both teams were playing very, very physical.
Christine Sinclair was absolutely brilliant. She is only the second player in history to have a hat trick against the U.S. She found a gap and took complete advantage of it to put Canada up 1-0. It seemed that the momentum was going to stick with Canada and it really did through halftime. The U.S. was really struggling with possession.
The Second Half
I actually had to go back and re-watch the second half to write this blog post. The U.S. started the second half with much more “purpose” as Arlo White said on the broadcast. A few good chances in the beginning of the second half from Abby Wambach as well as good set pieces gave the U.S. much more momentum.
Remember when I said Megan Rapinoe would be absolutely key? She was. She scored an “Olympico” in the Olympics (a goal scored from a corner kick) in the 54th minute. That is crazy and pretty much from there, the game was crazy. Some subs, fouls and 14 minutes later, Tancredi found Christine Sinclair in the middle of the box to drive a header past Hope Solo. Canada was up 2-1. Commence my heart attack. And my live stream wasn’t working.
In the 70th minute, Megan Rapinoe scored her second of the game, a beautiful shot from the 18. B-e-a-u-tiful! As they said, Canada gave her space and she took clear advantage of it. Remember that time I said Megan Rapinoe would be key to a win?
Well, Canada didn’t wait long…Sinclair didn’t wait long…to put Canada ahead one more time. As Arlo said,
“She’s playing like a woman possessed tonight.”
So, all that craziness happens and it’s looking bleak as time is clicking on. Then the ref stepped in with a bizarre call. She awarded an indirect kick to the U.S. because the goalie held the ball too long. We’ve heard since then that Wambach had talked to the referee about it…blah, blah, blah…and yes, the indirect kick ultimately led to a penalty kick because of a handball in the box.
Of course she sunk it.
The drama didn’t end and the game went into an extra 33 minutes of play with a tied score of 3-3 at the end of regulation.
And then it’s Alex Morgan time…Morgan was known early in her USWNT career as the “super sub” to come in and score late in games. She has since secured her starting spot and scores early and late in games. So in appropriate fashion, Morgan scored the game winner in the 123rd minute to send the U.S. Women’s National Team not only to the Olympics gold medal match but to a redemption match of the final of the Women’s World Cup in Germany last summer.
Like I said, most epic game ever! They take on Japan Thursday at 2:45 and it is a game you do not want to miss. I have never been so pumped up for a game.
I would honestly say, the keys are the same as the last game. Japan is a very, very technical team and the US knows that. I’ll be looking for Megan Rapinoe in every play.
Looking to kill some time after you watch the Olympics Bronze Medal match at 8 AM? Check out the awesome player profiles from U.S. Soccer!
Thank you again, NBCSports for having such awesome photos!