In late June, the World Cup was suddenly as American as rap music, Mountain Dew and The View: pretty popular in the states, but still had its share of people that could care less. Having the heightened drama in the pool play game that would possibly eliminate, USA drew over 4.5 households that had the match on. Game on.
As far as the game itself went, it wasn’t anything terribly exciting, and the 0-0 score showed for it. If the USA wanted their team in the headlines the following weeks, they would need to belt in a goal, or otherwise, the USA was out of South Africa.
Any other USA soccer fan could tell you the rest in detail, and I’m sure you could too, but let’s reminisce really quick. Tim Howard had just captured the ball after a weak cross by Algeria and quickly nailed Landon Donavan in stride, Peyton Manning style. Donavan then pushed the ball up field, completely uncontested, and finds Altidore, who sends it to Dempsey, who missed what seemed to be America’s final stand. That feeling lasted for about two seconds until Donavan swiftly moved in and sent the ball into the goal.
Fast forward through regulation, controversy, the first 120 minutes and you will find yourself watching the greatest finish in American soccer history.
Getting the red card in the 65th minute, the USA had to play nearly half the game with a man down, and with a one goal deficit to come back from, America was nearly another Brazilian casualty with the odds stacked heavily against them. In stoppage time of extra time, Rapinoe throttled a ball into a window that was the size of, well, the ball, and gave star forward Abby Wombach a golden chance to send the ball in with her head. Rising to the occasion, Wombach leaped over the defenders and tied up the match at two goals apiece. For that day, clutch was spelt A-B-B-Y.
In penalty kicks, Hope Solo stoned Brazil on their third kick, which was just enough for America, who made all five strikes to get through to the semifinals.
More Dramatic Win: Women's Team
Scoring a goal in stoppage time of extra time is like getting into a store that's about to close with the manager standing at the door with the key. Except a lot more awesome.