This about as good a team goal as you will see, and should be a rival of the goal of the tournament. It’s so good in fact it almost looks faked, an uncanny valley of brilliant football from by the reigning world champions, Japan. Though Mizhuo Sakaguchi’s wonderful curled shot would be worthy of any highlight reel on its own, the build up—a back-heel, a perfectly timed feint, and then the one touch finish—transforms this into something else.
Though Japan hasn’t exactly been talked up this tournament amid Germany’s goal-scoring prowess, the USWNT hype machine and the nervous Canadian hosts, we saw yesterday why the nation who have won every game of the tournament so far by a single goal are still favourites to repeat. Though they conceded late to a desperate Netherlands side, Japan prevailed, winning 2-1. Japan will play Australia in the quarterfinals on June 27th.