Japan score best goal of the Women’s World Cup, then concede the worst


Japan’s second goal against the Netherlands in the Women’s World Cup was a sequence of perfection. It couldn’t have been executed better if they practiced that alone for the last three weeks. It ended up being absolutely necessarily too, since they ended up conceding a goal at the opposite end of the spectrum during injury time.

That’s Japan goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori, who put in an otherwise exemplary performance in the previous 91 minutes, letting the ball bounce off her arm and go into the net as if she suffered momentary paralysis.

Japan still won 2–1, but that goal brought on a nervy end to the match. Perhaps Kaihori felt a goal was a nice parting gift for the Dutch, since this was the first time they ever qualified for the World Cup, let alone reached the knockout stage. Or maybe she just didn’t feel like moving.