There are losses, and there are gut punches, and then there’s this. Japan barely hung around with England for 90 minutes of the World Cup semifinal, with England blowing seemingly a dozen chances to put its opponent away in the second half. And then with count tied at 1-1, each team scoring from penalty kicks and expecting to go into an extra 30 minutes of play, defender Laura Bassett kicked the ball at an awkward angle toward the England goal. The ball sailed high and deflected off the top of the crossbar and into the net, giving Japan the 2-1 lead and basically the victory. England didn’t even have time to respond with a counterattack as they could only console Bassett for the heartbreaking loss.
Her teammates and coaches had nothing but good things to say about her after the match though. Considering she had such a phenomenal World Cup run, it’s hard to blame Bassett for one mistake. I’m sure she feels bad enough about it.