The Women's World Cup

The nadeshiko is a lacy pink flower that blooms in the mountains of Japan. But the Japanese women's soccer team, which is named after the delicate blossom, showed no sign of fragility in its upset of the U.S. squad in the July 17 World Cup finals. Considered lucky to earn a spot in the tournament's latter stages, Nadeshiko Japan defeated the mighty Germans and the lofty Swedes before facing the top-ranked Americans, who were the heavy favorites, having prevailed over the Japanese in 22 previous matches. Yet the diminutive team played with perseverance and cohesion, triumphing in a 3-1 penalty-kick shoot-out...

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