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The power of never giving up

POSTED July 12, 2011 8:46 p.m.

It was a stunning realization to see the U.S. team finalize an epic comeback against Brazil to win its quarterfinal match in the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany last weekend. The win told many stories, and not just about the fact that the Americans are now just one win from the championship game.

Their semifinal match against France is today at 9 a.m. on ESPN.

Last weekend’s win also told the story of never, ever giving up.

For those who watched in awe, it took a few minutes, maybe hours, to comprehend what took place in front of your TV screen. The Americans were up against all odds, including a Brazilian team that had knocked out the U.S. before and the villains of soccer: the refs. And then, in the final minute, Abby Wambach tied the game with an incredible leaping header to set up penalty kicks. And then, goalkeeper Hope Solo managed to make an incredible save to help the Americans win.

All across the States, jaws dropped.

Mine, too.

It was unbelievable to witness the resiliency of the Americans. Their efforts have been replayed on ESPN repeatedly ever since and discussed on talk shows, the news and radio shows all across the country. The U.S. team, essentially, captured and showcased what anyone who picks up a sport is taught: To never give up.

And there were plenty of moments when the Americans could have easily given up.

After holding onto an early 1-0 lead, the Americans fell into a bad break in the second half. Martha, considered the world’s best female soccer player, was taken down by Rachel Buehler inside the box. That led to a PK, but that shot was taken down by Solo. That save, however, was dismissed after the refs called for encroachment.

Then, Martha tied the game at 1-1. After that, Martha struck again with her second goal in the second minute of overtime. It put the Americans in a dangerous spot, considering they’d been competing with just 10 players — due to Buehler’s red card ejection — to Brazil’s 11.

The Americans kept fighting and fighting.

Wambach had her incredible goal, and Solo forgot about the earlier encroachment call to make an incredible diving save during the penalty kicks. The looks on the faces of the Americans were of disbelief and shock. They couldn’t believe it. We couldn’t believe it.

And it was all because they never gave up.

To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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