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Seriously, anyone who would have predicted this game unfolding as it did would have been psychic (or had time travelling capabilities). There was nothing that could have led me to believe that the US was able to string passes together and actually outplay Japan in the tight spaces like they did. Now let’s be clear, the US did not always win in the MF and they were not technically perfect (far from it) but they were clearly the better team on the day than Japan in every,Fletcher Cox Jersey, and I mean every, category that can be thought of except for three. The one place they failed most glaringly was in taking shots from the spot,Sean Lee Jersey. It was junior varsity High School stuff we saw as a nation. I received a text that had probably the best description of my mood after the PK’s: “anticlimactic”. The other US deficiency was in clearing out of the box, calamitous clearing led to the first Japanese goal and there was almost a second disaster when Rapinoe almost destroyed Carli Lloyd in OT when she was in the process of clearing the line. And the final place where just a piece of luck or a slight improvement would have made the difference was finishing.
I did go on record to say that I thought Japan would win the game, but that was about the only thing I got right. It was supposed to be Japan outshooting and out playing a bigger, stronger and more determined team and doing just enough to nose over the line first. Sometimes the scripts just need to be stowed in a circular file and let the game be played
By Pat Johnston
Then of course I would have said, “I think you have your teams mixed up.”
Ironically they lost to a Japan side which demonstrated there was no quit in them and even if they were not going to play their best, they were going to do whatever it took to win the match. Had anyone told me before the game that the US would play Japan off the park but lose because the Japanese would just show the heart and grit to do whatever it took to win, I would have scratched my head and thought about it for a minute.
I owe the U.S,Wes Welker Patriots Jersey. Women’s World Cup team an apology. So here goes: I apologize,Victor Cruz Youth Jersey. Having said they were not capable of playing attractive soccer and lacking the technical ability of most of their opponents,Willie Mays Jersey, they proceeded to play their best game of the tournament on Sunday in the final. Where that team came from and why they did not play in the manner they did on Sunday for the whole tournament escapes me, but they showed that there is more to their game than kick and run.
After picking Japan to win the Women’s World Cup, Soccer365’s Pat Johnston is here to apologize to the U.S. WNT.