A horrible, horrible thing happened last night. Like, maybe the worst thing I've ever seen.
I've watched a lot of soccer over the years, and I've seen some really heartbreaking things. Steven Gerrard's slip against Chelsea last season comes to mind, as does Sergio Agüero's EPL-winning extra-time goal against QPR a few years back, breaking the hearts of Manchester United (not that anyone really cares about broken United hearts).
But this tops it all, and it's not really even close.
Picture this: Semifinals of the Women's World Cup. It's England vs. Japan, with Japan favored, but both teams figuring as heavy underdogs in the final against the USA.
1-1 after 90 minutes, after each team scored a penalty. Overall, an even match. And then, disaster. Shame. Tragedy. Just the absolute worst kind of heartbreak.
The critical highlight (lowlight?) starts at 1:31 in the above video. A curling ball into the box, and one fatal defensive touch.
An attempted clearance gone all wrong.
Laura Bassett was the culprit, and you just want to whisk her away from the world at that moment. It would have been England's first ever time in the final.
What can be done about a thing like this? Good on her teammates for supporting her after the incident. It was a totally fluke of the most dreadful nature, and there isn't really any blame to assign. No one deserves that sort of burden. Bassett will never forget the match, but for all the wrong reasons.
I'm going to go find a big box somewhere, so I can cry alone for a while.