It’s been three days and three nights1 and I still haven’t gotten over the chaotic magic that was Thursday’s Brazil vs. Australia game.
There are moments when I shut my eyes and the only thing I see is Debinha, the Master of Nutmegs, merrily nutmegging her nutmegous way past not one but two Australian players. I’ve got Sam Kerr telling her haters to “suck on it” queued up as my next ringtone. Last night, I dreamt I was screaming at VAR again.2
The only bad thing about this incredible game—Game of Chaos, the Grand Nutmeg, the Match to End All Matches—is that it ended and it was honestly so exhausting, we may need to take a couple of weeks to recover before we sit down and watch it again.
When the final whistle blew on Brazil vs. Australia, the conversations taking place weren’t focused on women’s soccer compared to men’s (either justifying the existence of women’s soccer or decrying its quality). The discourse wasn’t dominated with sexist commentary around poor teams and untoward celebrations. Instead we saw tactical breakdowns, arguments about the weak rules that VAR keeps enforcing, and everyone delighting in Sam Kerr and her post-game interview.
We reveled in the chaos that Brazil vs. Australia brought us, yes, but let’s not forget its most beautiful contribution to the sport: for a short and blessed moment, the narrative was focused only on the game.
1 Editor’s note: possibly four; it’s difficult to get a quick start on Mondays.
2 10 points to whoever gets that reference.