The U.S. women beat Germany 2-0, but they got three lucky breaks. Their first break occurred when the defender Julie Johnston, misplaying a bouncing ball, pulled down Germany’s Alexandra Popp and only got a yellow card for it. Since it was in the penalty area with no one left for Popp to beat except the goalie, that should have been red.
The second break was when, on the ensuing penalty, Germany’s penalty taker, Celia Sasic, missed wide.
And the third break was when the foul on Alex Morgan was called inside the penalty area instead of outside. That meant it was a penalty kick instead of a mere free kick.
All through the game the announcers and commentators talked about how bad Germany looked, but I thought they looked much better than when they played France. France dominated that game and probably should have won, but let’s face it, they were fated to lose. In fact, France has been fated to lose to Germany ever since, oh, the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1. But anyway, given that Germany won a game in which they did not dominate at all, and given that Germany is always dangerous, even when they are being dominated, it is awfully silly to say that a game in which they dominated the opening minutes and did all right after that was one in which they played terribly. I’ve seen plenty of games in which the team that dominated didn’t win.
This brings me to my perennial theme: penalty kicks. If Germany’s shot had gone in, it is highly likely the U.S. would have lost, but Sasic shot wide. That was inexcusable.