brink of World Cup extinction.
But it wasn't enough to beat a Japanese team of destiny that is winging their way back to their homeland with the trophy and their first FIFA world championship.
You can't call it any other way. The Nadeshiko Japan enroute to the title had never beaten European competition but knocked off the two time defending champions and host Germans, and knocked out Sweden in the semifinal. Japan had never beaten the USA in 25 matches, including two warm up matches they lost.before the World Cup started . They finished a title run for the ages by beating the FIFA number one ranked USA women 3-1 on penalty kicks.
"This is obviously going to hurt for a while," said Abby Wambach in an AP interview.
It definitely will. Team USA is going to think long and hard for the next four years about the multiple shots and scoring chances that either just missed the goal, hit crossbars or were off target.
They'll ponder being up late in the game twice after scoring goals in the 70th minute and in extra time in the 104th minute only to see Japan come storming back to tie it.
They will also think about the penalty kick shootout in which until today, Team USA had never missed putting one in the back of the net in their World Cup history. They opened up this one by missing three straight.
As Herman Edwards once said, that's why you play the games. Japan was playing for much more than another FIFA world championship. They were playing for their country, destiny was on their side and they delivered big time.
Congratulations to Japan, the new FIFA Women's World Champions.
As for the Team USA women, at least they have a chance to qualify for the Olympic Games and try to win their third straight Olympic gold medal in London..