Student, 13 (Japanese/American)
The moment that Landon Donovan scored the winner against Algeria and the USA hopped to the top of the group in a split second. Great goal, great timing — amazing to change the fate of the team with one kick of the ball!
Street performer, 48 (British)
Keisuke Honda’s free kick (in the game against Denmark), without a doubt. That ball moved and swerved all through the World Cup. When he kicked it, everyone expected it to move, and it didn’t. Did it? How did he do that!?
Yuko (Japan) and Jamie (U.S./Japan)
“Mix” Shochiku Geino talent team
Yuko: Matsui’s cross for Honda’s goal against Cameroon — game changer, and life-changer for Honda? Jamie: Endo’s free kick against Denmark. I know the Jabulani was causing problems, but Endo made it happen — no one expected that brilliant free kick!
Student, 21 (Brazilian)
Brazil losing to Holland was the best thing that could have happened. They weren’t playing with their hearts, and Dunga chose the wrong players and tactics. Now we can rebuild with better players and a coach who plays the beautiful game — and win the World Cup on home soil in 2014.
Aromatherapist, 32 (Japanese)
Argentina coach Diego Maradona’s antics. He showed such a range of emotions in that technical area of his. From joy to sadness, from hope to resignation in defeat. It might not be a popular thing to say, but I like him!
History professor, 51 (American)
The fact that USA made it to the last 16 was the highlight for me. I was in Thailand at the time and I, along with a few expats, were up against it, with all the locals cheering for other teams and giving us hard time. To make it through against the odds was a tonic!