Underestimate Japan at your own risk

Updated: July 16, 2011, 1:47 AM ET
By Roger Bennett | Special to ESPN.com

The polished physicality of the Germans was meant to bully them. The Swedes were expected to outstrip them. Both were nullified. Though tiny in stature, the Japanese women's team is still standing, suffocating one opponent after another by denying it access to the ball. Coach Norio Sasaki summed up the nature of his squad's achievement: "They are short little ladies, but they achieved a lot and I am very proud of my girls."

The U.S. underestimates Japan at its own risk, ...

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