Even though a win is never a sure thing, there were many who predicated that Germany and the U.S. would roll over Korea and England. They did -- but it wasn't easy. Judging by the FIFA reports, the Koreans fought and clawed every inch of the way. The English fought and clawed through a scoreless first half, but seemed to collapse after the U.S. scored for the first time. The psychology of who scores when is critical in soccer, where it's so hard to score at all. That psychology came into play big-time in these two matches.
Afterwards, German striker Birgit Prinz said: "We definitely scored our goals at very significant stages of the game, particularly our second goal. The North Koreans came out very strong at the start of the second half but when Renate (Lingor) scored, I think we all knew for sure that it was us who were going to make it through."
Greg Ryan, USA coach, had this to say: "England are a difficult team to defeat. They are very good defensively but I encouraged my players to go after the first goal, which is always crucial. Once we got it we were in control. I thought everyone played well. Kristine Lilly is the spirit of this team and she showed this today."
The U.S.-England 3-0 match will probably be rebroadcast on ESPN today, while the Germany-Korea 3-0 match can probably be seen on GLVSN, for those of you who can get this channel.
The other two games of the quarter-finals -- Norway/China and Brazil/Australia -- are being played as we speak. The U.S. will play either the Aussies or the Brasileiras next -- and the girls from Brazil are gunning hard for their first World Cup win. -- Patricia Nell Warren