The USA Women’s Soccer team defeated France 3-1 to make it to the 2011 World Cup finals for the first time since 1999, when Mia Hamm led the group. But this time, it is four-time Soccer Athelete of the Year, Abby Wambach who is making things happen for Team USA.
For a while, both teams were going back and forth trying to break a nerve-wrecking 1-all tie. France maintained control for most of the match, ending the encounter with a 25-11 advantage in shots. But ultimately, in the 79th minute the star forward stepped up for the second game in a row and scored with a brilliant header off a kick from Lauren Cheney.
The Americans knew how important this was for the team, as the French had been resilient until that point. Rookie Alex Morgan topped things off with a sweet goal in the 82nd minute, giving her team some extra cushion. It seems as though, these women get stronger as the game progresses, as they also showed last Sunday.
Just a few days ago, Wambach also helped pushed her team through to the semis, by tying the match against Brazil scoring on a cross from teammate Megan Rapinoe. Team USA’s coach, Pia Sundhage tried to express how lucky she was to have such an incredible player on her team. “Abby, she’s just the best,” Sundhage said. “I’m very happy to have her in our team. Great.”
With just two days to rest to prepare for their semifinal match against France, the Americans will now be able to take some time for Sunday’s game against Japan in Frankfurt. The Japanese, who are sure to be the darlings in some parts of the wolrld considering all they've gone through this year, defeated the Swedes, 3-1.
“What we have been doing so far is very good for Japan,” said Japanese coach Norio Sasaki. “We are still recovering from the disaster. There were so many victims. Even little things, like a win can give people courage and hope.”
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