THE BEAUTIFUL GAME has a new winning team in the recently-concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011 last Sunday when Japan shocked the footballing world by defeating the United States in the final which was hosted by Germany.
After a 2-all draw in the full-time match which went into extra-time, the women’s world champions had to be decided by penalty shoot-outs and the Japanese edged out their American opponents by 3 goals to 1 to claim their winning trophy.
It was a historic victory for the Japanese team nicknamed, “Beautiful Flowers”, since they became the first-ever Asian women players to have achieved such an amazing feat. It was indeed a sweet victory for the team from the Land of the Rising Sun that really cheered up their entire nation which has, only four months ago, been devastated by a triple whammy disaster i.e. 9.0 magnitude earthquake; a giant tsunami and a nuclear plant tragedy during which hundreds of lives had perished. It motivated the ‘underdog’ Japanese team comprising mostly amateur footballers to beat the defending champions, Germany, in the semifinal and gradually another all-professional American soccer team in the closely-fought final game.
In contrast, this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup championship has outshone a much lack-lustre performance of the 2011 Copa America Men’s football championship being played in Argentina.
The host nation and another top-ranked team, Brazil, were both humiliated when they lost their respective quarter-final rounds of the South American event. Incidentally, both matches were also decided by penalty kicks resulting in victories by Paraguay over Brazil and by Uruguay over hosts, Argentina, respectively.
Despite the fact that both Argentina and Brazil boast of top-notch skillful players in the likes of the current world’s best footballer, Argentinian midfielder Lionel Messi and an up-and-coming young Brazilian striker, Neymar, luck was just not on their teams’ sides! The only other tournament favorite with high FIFA-ranking, Uruguay, on the other hand may emerge as Copa America champions since they have the formidable striking duo of Luis Suarez and Diego Forlan. But as they say in football, anything can happen since the ball is round… 😛