After Tough Year, Japan Wins World Cup

Last week, workers in Japan recovered 31 more bodies from the rubble of devastation that came with a tragic tsunami last March that many in the world have already forgotten.  The bodies recovered brought the death toll down by only the tiniest of fractions, leaving a count of nearly 21,000 dead and missing.  For a nation trying to regain a sense of global pride, nothing could be sweeter than a triumphant win at the World Cup, where the women managed a last minute victory against the United States.

Many called it a ‘riveting’ final on Sunday night, with the women acknowledging publically and privately to their friends and family that this was their chance to fight for a battered country looking for even the slightest glimpse of joy.  Well, they sure fought.

This had been Japan’s first showing in a major tournament final and they had never beaten the United States.  But even Americans were wondering if this was destined to be their year.  After all, sports is always about underdogs trying to overcome the goliaths of their game.  Carli Lloyd, who had to swallow a missed shot, was gracious in defeat. “If any other country was to win this, then I’m really happy and proud for Japan.  Deep down inside I really thought it was our destiny to win it.  But maybe it was Japan’s.”

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