One of the biggest remaining unanswered questions in the world of soccer is whether there was indeed a Pangaea Cup roughly 250 million years ago - at the time when there was only one continent on the planet. Scientists have yet to uncover any evidence that soccer balls existed during that period. Even if they did, it is debatable whether the reptilian life forms at that time were adept enough to kick a ball.
Since that time, two significant changes have occurred. Firstly, the tectonic plates have torn apart Pangaea and shifted the ever moving continents to their present day locations. Secondly, humans evolved, spread about the planet, and established ever changing political entities (including nations). As a result, there are now plenty of Cups to keep us entertained.
Last week, the United States won the 2011 Four Nations Tournament, with a 2-0 victory over China in the finals. Canada and Sweden were the other two nations in the tournament. Carli Lloyd scored the opening goal for the Americans. Amy Rodriguez added the final goal:
"At that point, we were winning 1-0 and playing decently. I just saw Tobin Heath on the wing, and decided to do a fade-out bending run. With her technique she was able to play that ball in behind and I was able to slip the ball into the net. It was exciting."
Yesterday, Japan won the AFC Asian Cup Qatar 2011, with a 1-0 victory over Australia. Several years ago, the Aussies intentionally drifted into the Asian Football Confederation from the Oceania Football Confederation (in a membership sense, not in a continental sense). The match went into a second extra period before Tadanari Lee scored the first and decisive goal.
"I feel super. I could not play for such a long time and I had to keep on waiting, believing that there would be a chance for me. I could score a goal in the end and I'm really happy....
I kept talking to myself, saying 'I'll be a hero. I'll be a hero' before I went onto the pitch....
I'm really happy that I was able to stand on this pitch. I really want to thank everyone. We'll have to work hard as the Asian champions and I want you, the fans, all to support the Japanese national team."