There’s a lot of things that my wife and I don’t have in common- my love for sports being one of them. But when I announced to her last night that we were gonna sacrifice one of the few chances we get to sleep in to watch the US vs. Brazil game, she was encouraging. In fact, she was the one who made sure that we woke up after I tried to snooze the alarm when it went off this morning.
To my surprise, I miscalculated, and the game had already been on for about 30 minutes. We were winning 1-0, so it wasn’t that terrible. I watched the end of the first half with a lot of excitement, and when the game went to break, I made breakfast and coffee- since the Mrs. is working from home again this morning.
Then the penalty kick happened.
I’ve played/watched soccer my whole life- and that was a terrible call. Even then, the red card was beyond stupid. And on top of that, the repeat of the penalty kick after Solo saved it?!?!? My stomach was in pain and I was shaking. So much at stake, and here Brazil was given a free pass.
The game progressed and neither side could get it in. The extra time snuck on us and we had been playing most of the game with 10 players. We had been holding on just fine until an offside wasn’t called and Marta scored to put Brazil ahead. I couldn’t believe this game, and I’ve never hated FIFA officials this much.
But we never lost hope. I knew that if we could tie and go to penalty kicks, we could win. My wife stopped working because this game was so intense. I kept pacing around, hoping for another chance. And this is when Rapinoe advanced with the ball on the left side. It looked like the perfect opportunity. There was one minute left in the game. My heart was all I could hear. And then the ball left Brazil’s goalkeeper behind and fell on Wambach’s head so graciously. I blinked, then open my eyes to see it resting in Brazil’s net. I felt the tears coming down my cheeks and I yelled until I lost my voice. It wasn’t over yet though.
As expected at that time, they went to penalty kicks. Brazil kept shooting to the left, and I think it had something to do with Solo’s shoulder (She’s been playing injured for a few games now). So she went to the left on the third shot, and saved it. I began my jumping and screaming ritual once again. They scored the remaining two, and so did we. We are now in the semifinals.