It was not for how many years that you can forecast the lineup for the final four at the World Cup of Women before the tournament started.
The Americans were specified. The Germans, also. Brazil had been there to the last in current years, and Sweden or Norway was not at all an awful bet. Not some forecasted Japan playing in its final and France creating the semis.
Megan Rapinoe, U.S. midfielder said, “It’s amazing to see a team like France, a team like Japan in the final. Germany knocked out. Brazil knocked out. It’s amazing to have that — and that we are still right there, at the top.”
The Americans are the only stable in this year’s disordered tournament.
The top-ranked team of the world, the U.S. is attempting to turn into the first country to win three World Cup titles when it encounters Japan on Sunday. This might be the first appearance of the Americans in the final ever since in the year 1999, the last time they won it all, but they have won two Olympic gold medals in the interim and had a two-year-plus winning line going until November.
Norio Sasaki, Japan coach, said after beating Sweden that, 3-1 in the semi finals, its second big upset of the tournament that, “It is a great opportunity for us.”
The World Cup frequently was not a fair fight when Mia Hamm, Julie Foudy, Michelle Akers and Kristine Lilly leaded the U.S. Several of the scores in the team stage were pathetic, and the space among the elite and the second tier was more like a chasm.
There were small disorders in the tournament, with 4-0 wins by Japan over Mexico and France over Canada the most irregular.
Christie Rampone, U.S. captain, the single holdover from 1999 said, “All these teams are putting in more effort and time and training. You can see the pressure. There’s great goalkeepers, great attacking players, great defense. You don’t see blowouts, which is great for the sport.”