coyotesuspect: (foccer: hope - shining sea)
[personal profile] coyotesuspect
So today was an absolutely fantastic day in US soccer. But, let's say I was screaming with rage through parts of it. And screaming with sheer joy and elation by the end of it.

Seriously guys. US vs Brazil. Quarterfinals of the World Cup. Knockout stage.

There are a few lucky breaks in the first half. US gets up by 1 in the first minute thanks to an own goal by Brazil. The ref doesn't card Carli Lloyd for a handball that would have had her sent off.

But then, in the second half, Brazil comes on strong. Solo makes some great saves, but then a Rachel Bueller (US player) gets red carded for fouling an attacking player inside the box. Questionable call, but the ref didn't card Lloyd, so fair enough. A penalty kick results. US GK (and absolute fucking beast) Hope Solo (see icon) <i><a href= ">saves the penalty.

And this is where the shit hits the fan. The ref rules a retake. A RETAKE. For a reason that's either flat out wrong (Solo moved off the line too early) or insanely strict (a US player encroached too early). Marta takes the second penalty kick... and equalizes.

1:1, the 55th minute, and the US is a woman down. Quarterfinal of the World Cup. There is no tie. There is only win or go home. And this is a US side that has been criticized as consistent, that lost its most recent match to Norway, and that barely qualified for the World Cup in the first place. Sure, we're ranked first in the world, but it's a shaky first. But with number one ranked Germany falling to fourth ranked Japan the day before, anything is possible, Third ranked Brazil is hungry for silverware, routed the US in their last world cup meet up in 2007, and has the best player in the world on their team (the aforementioned Marta).

This is not a good position for the US to be in.

So what does the US do? It plays better with ten men for the next thirty-five minutes than it did with eleven in the first fifty-five). They hold Brazil to the draw.

The match goes into thirty minutes of extra time. And two minutes in, Marta scores. It's a beautiful goal... even if the Brazilian who passed her the ball was offsides at the time of the pass. Ref fails to call it.

A goal down, a man down, and with a ref that's already made a complete clusterfuck of the match. But the US keeps playing. They keep playing, and they keep trying to score. Call it resolve, call it grit, call it sheer fucking American never say die spirit, it's inspiring. And it's heart-breaking to realize that the game is getting closer to an end, and it may not even matter.

And then in the 115th minute, five minutes before the game is set to end, Erika (a Brazilian player), drops like she's been tasered inside the Brazilian box. And she stays down. Med staff rushes on to check on her, and, after four minutes of running down the clock, stretcher her off. What happens as soon as she gets to the sidelines? She hops off and runs back onto the field. I am not even kidding you.

It's cynical. It's disgusting. It's a blatant move to run down the clock. But you know what happens?

Erika gets redcarded. And three minutes get added to the clock for stoppage time.

The clock hits 120. The game would be over if it weren't for those three minutes.

Then

THEN

THEN

In the 123rd minute, Megan Rapinoe lifts a perfectly weighted ball and crosses it across the field.

Where Abby Wambach is waiting to head it straight into the net.

BOOM.



The comms go nuts. The crowd goes nuts. I go nuts, and send my cell phone soaring across the room. My neighbors probably thought I was being murdered, I was screaming so badly. Remember that Donovan goal from the men's world cup last year? Yeah. Not as epic as this.

Equalizes 2:2. In overtime of extra time after playing a man down for almost an hour. (And keep in mind socer matches are generally 90 minutes long). And Abby Wambach? Let's consider a moment how incredible this is for Abby Wambach. She's one of the best US players in history. But she came on after the glory days of '99. This is her last chance to win a World Cup. And this is after she's just one goal out of a long scoreless streak that had everyone questioning if she were still capable.

Goddamn is she more than ever fucking capable.

But back to the game. Regular time is over. Extra time is over. Injury time is over. It's down to penalty kicks. Each team gets five chances, US goes first.

Shannon Boxx up first, and the Brazilian goalie stops it. BUT. She's way off her line, and the ref has to enforce it considering her ruling on the pk earlier in the day. Retake, and... Boxx makes it. But then so does the Brazilian against Solo. And then the next American converts her PK to a goal. And then so does the next Brazilian. 2:2. The third American steps up, and the pk's converted.

The third Brazilian isn't so lucky, and Hope motherfucking Solo bats the motherfucking ball out of the motherfucking air.

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3:2. All the next two Americans have to do is score, and it's over.

And they do. Brazilian goalie doesn't get a touch on them. Ali Krieger, the fifth and final US pk taker, who isn't even generally one of the players who takes pks, scores.

America wins. AMERICA GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKING WINS.



And advances to the semifinals to meet France.

It's been said a million times today, but you could not write a better story than this.

The stunning, saintlike, brilliant, stone cold Hope Solo thanks you for your time.

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In other news! Huge thank yous to [livejournal.com profile] scorpiod1, [livejournal.com profile] cherie_morte, [livejournal.com profile] locknkey, and [livejournal.com profile] wutendeskind for the kisses now decorating my profile. You guys are sweet. <33333

In other-other news, the rules, set up and schedule guide, and mission statement of [livejournal.com profile] sparklegrit have all been posted. [livejournal.com profile] sparklegrit being that fitness comm idea I told y'all about. If you're interested, go over and take a gander, and report back to me with any comments or concerns you might have. If there's a general consensus that the rules, etc are good, I'll officially open things tomorrow before I leave to pick [livejournal.com profile] familiardevil up from the airport. ^___^

On the sparklegrit note- I've been keeping track of my calories for a week. And now that I have a better idea of what I eat and how much I eat, I'd worked out a pretty solid diet and exercise plan if I do say so myself.

Cue my mom sending me a boxful of candy. -_____-

Have a good night y'all. <3333
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