It was a 2-0 bloodbath in Montreal. The girls collided heads early on, literally spilling blood on the grass. It was a nasty, penalty-ridden win for the girls in Red, White, and Blue. And it will all be remembered by a missed German penalty kick.
For the first time in the 30-year history of Germany Women’s World Cup, they missed a free kick in the box. They were perfect on every single try, and up they stepped to try one more early in the second half of a 0-0 game. The leading scorer of the tournament stepped up, got the goalie going in the wrong direction… and missed just wide!
It was an exhilarating moment for the United States, whose hopes appeared to be dashed until we were saved from devastation. The emotion was all over the yellow-carded American defender, who fought back tears while her teammates picked her up. After that miss, you could feel a momentum shift.
Our girls had been the dominant team thus far, and now they stepped up their attack. Credit Alex Morgan, who made opportunities out of nothing all match. She took a turnover and went straight to the goal, where she, too, was awarded a penalty kick after the defender couldn’t get out of her way. Our captain cashed it in for a 1-0 lead!
There wasn’t much time left for the Germans, who fired anxious shots over Hope Solo’s net. Their coach wore her nerves on her sleeve all tourney, and in this case, she was facing the one country she’d never beaten. Our girls were soaring in confidence, and down to the final twenty minutes, Abby Wambach entered.
The leader of the team helped bring the ball back down into their territory, sensing one more goal would be necessary (like the French could have used). She controlled possession, made a nice feed, and allowed the girls to work it into the box where they centered for a flying striker to cash it in – 2-0!!
Her name is O’Hara, and she looked like the flying Irishwoman on this one. She, too, had just entered the game. With a few more attempts from their opponent, the United States went on to finish the shutout and advance to the World Cup Final!