The football files: ‘Moments like this are what make sports so cool’

Alex Morgan after scoring the winning goal with seconds to go in the double-overtime game. (Stanley Chou)

Alex Morgan after scoring the winning goal with seconds to go in the double-overtime game. (Stanley Chou)

From the vault: Aug. 6, 2012

Here’s a superb piece of sportswriting from Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post on the United States’ dramatic 4-3 victory over Canada to advance to the gold medal game of the 2012 Olympics. Alex Morgan won the game with a header into the net in the 123rd minute.

The story includes a detailed and unbiased description of the controversial call against Canadian goalkeeper Erin McLeod for holding the ball too long — a penalty that players on both sides said they’d never seen called.

The penalty came with Canada leading 3-2 — on three Christine Sinclair goals — and about 10 minutes to go in regulation time.

It resulted in a free kick by Megan Rapinoe, who launched the ball into a wall of Canadian defenders.

Again, the referee blew her whistle, this time calling a hand ball on one of the Canadians.

Abby Wambach took the penalty kick and drilled it home to tie the game.

More than 40 minutes later, Morgan would complete the America comeback.

In the mayhem of the Americans’ postgame celebration, Svrluga writes, Pia Sundhage found Morgan.

“Remember one thing,” the coach told her young forward. “Promise yourself one thing: Remember this moment.”

 

 

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