Today’s outrageous and unforgettable victory for the United States over Brazil set the stage for the second of two semi-final matches coming up on Wednesday in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany — one that has already featured a few incredible shocks before the finals have even come into view.
This World Cup already lost the overall favorite, Germany, with an incredible upset victory by Japan. But the United States last minute goal against Brazil to tie it and send it to penalty kicks was one for the ages. The amount of global interest and drama focused on the four teams remaining in Germany will be something that everyone will be watching from here on out — whether or not a nation’s team is still in the contest.
For Japan, it’s about establishing the Japanese brand after the tremendous disaster of the giant earthquake and aftershocks earlier this year. Japan’s women’s national team has never made it this far into the World Cup before, and it’s easy to feel the weight on their shoulders as they’re playing for something far more than sporting victories but instead holding the hope of a nation rising once again in their hands.
The other teams awaiting the United States and Japan in the semi-finals are Sweden, a team that only continues to get better with each tournament, and a French team that remains one of the favored teams left in the tourney. There’s no doubt that the emotion and drama will only continue as these teams move forward Wednesday with the semi-final matches.