Women's World Cup delivers a litany of unforgettable moments
The curtain came down on the Women's World Cup on Sunday,
The tournament's official opening match didn't start brilliantly for Canada, which found itself 2-0 down inside the first half. By the time Sinclair took an 82nd-minute free-kick just outside the penalty area, she'd had her nose broken by Babett Peter's elbow but refused to be subbed off, batting off the protestations of team doctors. It didn't seem to hinder her as
The French hadn't suggested a new world order when they beat Nigeria 1-0 on the first day. But a four-goal performance against Canada sounded the claxon loud and clear. France's intoxicating blend of elegance, telepathic linkup play and coldblooded deadliness in front of goal left the Canadians' heads spinning. Gaetane Thiney's
As well as lifting the World Cup on Sunday, Japanese captain Homare Sawa was named the tournament's best player, and awarded the Golden Boot having scored five goals. She was at the heart of Japan's game from box to box, and a
Hungarian referee Gyoengyi Gaal ensured that Equatorial Guinea's World Cup debut won't be forgotten in a hurry when she took the Group stage's lax officiating to a spectacular nadir. When Leena Khamis' attempt bounced off the post and past her flailing goalkeeper,
Four years ago their display against the U.S. mesmerized; this time around the faking and whining of Brazil drew scorn. We should keep in mind how little support the team receives at home, how scant its preparation is, and marvel at the magic its players can nonetheless produce.
There were some terrific performances from the event's youngest participants, with 16-year-old Caitlin Foord deservedly taking the Hyundai Best Young Player award for her marauding runs down Australia's right flank. But it was her 20-year-old teammate Kyah Simon's brace against Norway -- the first a
The sound of Faye White's penalty strike crashing in to the crossbar signaled the end of England's challenge (literally, for many of us; we can't bear to actually watch these things). As if that wasn't bad enough, things rapidly went sour in the camp when England coach Hope Powell was reported to have accused key players of cowardice for failing to volunteer to take penalty kicks. It had all looked like being so different after
This is like trying to pen a few words on the Miracle on Ice; it's already been eulogized every which way and it's only been a week. The U.S. scored some terrific goals in Germany this summer -- Alex Morgan's delicate chip versus France, Heather O'Reilly's piledriver versus Colombia -- but for jaw-on-the-floor, heart-pounding thrill, none can top
A week later the boot was on the other foot -- Sawa's boot, in fact, as she flicked in Japan's equalizer with only a couple of minutes of extra time remaining. There was time enough, though, for the U.S. to look for the winner, with Morgan running at goal in the 121st minute. Knowing what the Western New York Flash striker had done from a similar position to open the scoring in the 69th minute, Azusa Iwashimizu slid in to dispossess her but ended up making better contact with Morgan's legs than the ball. She was sent off but, cannily, she'd made sure she was outside of the box at the time, ensuring that there wouldn't be any penalties until the teams had five each. Carli Lloyd's free-kick was blocked in the box and the rest, as they say, is history.
To say the Women's World Cup was a huge hit on social media is an understatement. Goalkeeper Hope Solo's Twitter following jumped from around 10,000 just before the tournament to over 100,000 prior to the final, with others on the U.S. team making similar strides. The final itself set a record for tweets per second, eclipsing the wedding of Prince William and Kate and the death of Osama bin Laden, and drawing an astounding 7,196 tweets per second.