I had kind of become interested in the Womens World Cup starting back in 1999 when the USA won it in a thriller at the Rose Bowl. Ever since then I've paid a little bit of attention. Usually getting more involved when they got closer to the finals.
This year I was surprised that Japan had beaten mighty Germany on their own home field. I decided to watch their match against Sweden, and I couldn't help but root for these scrappy, determined, small women who were trying to fight the Viking ladies who were much larger and more physical than they were. As it turned out, Japan used tactics and skillful passing to win that match. I was impressed and became a bit of a fan of what announcers called "The female Barcelona".
As an American, I wanted the USA to win, but I am not crushed by the loss. The Japanese really needed an emotional boost right now, after the recent tsunami killed 20,000 of their citizens.
Japan had never beaten the USA in 25 previous attempts.
You will probably never see another team ecstatic about having a 1-25 record against another team.
But these Japanese ladies will gladly accept that number.
Congrats to the Japanese Womens World Cup team.
World Champions.... and they deserve it.