Monday, August 6, 2012

London 2012: Women's Soccer Steals The Show

Oh what a day for women's soccer at the London 2012 Olympics. It started off with Japan taking on France in front of over 61,000 people at Wembley Stadium. The first half was a bit slow, but the game picked up in the second half. Japan took a 2-0 lead and controlled the ball. Then France unleashes a storm of shots, getting one back. They missed a penalty kick but kept on attacking Japan's goal. Japan sealed the win 2-1, and after the game consoled the upset French players in true Olympic spirit.

Then one of the most epic sports matches ever took place in Old Trafford between CONCACAF rivals the United States and Canada. Christine Sinclair of Canada put on a clinic, scoring three goals to give the lead to Canada three times during the game. But the USA would not go away. Megan Rapinoe scored two and the 3rd was scored on a controversial penalty kick by Abby Wambach. The back and forth battle fittingly went to Overtime as Twitter exploded with more and more people joining the action. The game was still tied 3-3 as 120 minutes went on, now into added time. In the final seconds, the USA sent in a cross and Alex Morgan headed the ball in to give the US the 4-3 win. Basketball coach Doc Rivers called it the best game he's witnessed at the Olympics in any sport. Another side-story was Abby Wambach and Christine Sinclair both chasing legendary Mia Hamm's record of 158 international goals.

USA will move on to Wembley Stadium to take on world champions Japan in a re-match of last summers outstanding FIFA Women's World Cup final, which Japan won in a penalty kick shootout. The match will air Thursday at 2:45 ET on the NBC Sports Network here in the states. Canada will take on France for the Bronze Medal at 8AM ET. Canada no doubt won many fans during the match, and they may not have beaten the US since 2001 but I can guarantee they will very soon.

The Canadian women's team has elevated soccer in Canada ahead of the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup, which has been expanded to 24 teams. Plenty of Americans will be making the trip to our friendly neighbor to the north for that tournament and the atmosphere could rival the 1999 Women's World Cup in the USA. Until then, it's the Olympics.

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