The Japanese women’s Olympic soccer team has faced its share of indignities this year: first they were flown to the games in coach while the men’s team went business class—on the same flight. Then, after considerable disapproving rumblings from the rest of the world, the Japanese Football Association said that if they won a gold medal and ‘proved their worth’ they could fly back home in business class.
Never mind that the women won the FIFA Women’s World Cup last year whereas the Japanese men’s team ranks a ridiculously paltry 22nd in the current FIFA world rankings.
The sold out Wembley Stadium gold medal match finished today in a score of 2-1, with the U.S. beating Japan in a revenge win after their defeat at the last FIFA World Cup. The U.S. also set a record during the game for the most goals scored during an OlymPics, thanks to Carly Lloyd’s two points.
Hope Solo also played exceptionally well, protecting the U.S. goal from all but one of Japan’s goal attempts. The win was the third gold medal in a row for the U.S. women’s Olympic team, which beat Brazil in Beijing and Athens in 2008 and 2004. It's also the second gold medal for coach Pia Sundhage, who Solo said was "more laid-back than any coach I've ever had," and approaches life as a "glass half-full to the max," in the words of midfielder Heather O'Reilly.
So unfortunately for the ladies of Nadeshiko, if the JFA is really as big of a bunch of a$$holes as they’ve been so far, they’ll be flying back home in coach. Even though they earned Japan a silver, and the men only have a shot at the bronze if they can beat Korea tomorrow.